Why are alkali metals considered to be a powerful reducing agent?

The valence electronic configuration of alkali metals is ns1. They can attain the noble gas electronic configuration by removing one electron, which is a stable configuration. Due to low ionization potential and having the smallest nuclear charge, they can easily lose an electron. Hence, alkali metals are considered a powerful reducing agent.

  • A substance that loses electrons to other substances in a redox reaction and gets oxidized to the higher valency state is called a reducing agent.
  •  Lithium metal is the strongest reducing agent amongst all the metals because of the lowest standard reduction potential of the lithium metal.
  • After losing electrons, the reducing agent gets oxidised and causes the opposite reactant to get reduced by supplying electrons.
  • They tend to lose the outer shell electron to form cations with charge +1 (monovalent ions).
  • This makes them the most electropositive elements, and due to the same reason, they are not found in the pure state.

 

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