What’s a reducing agent? Identify the oxidizing agent and reducing agent in the following reaction.
2Na + Cl2 → 2NaCl
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Have you assigned oxidation numbers (also called oxidation states) to all the species?
No I haven't. I'm not really quite sure what to do with this question at all.
First assign oxidations states, then examine which went more positive (lost electrons) and which one went more negative (gained electrons).
Oxidation is loss
Reduction is gain
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2Na would be +1 (I think)
Cl2 would be -1
2NaCl would be 0, right?
2Na + Cl2 → 2NaCl
0 0 (+1)(-1)
there are rules for this
\(\sf Assigning ~Oxidation ~states\)
You start off with a basic set of rules and you figure the rest out with simple arithmetic.
Rules (most often true, except in rare occasions):
Group 1 always +1
Group 2 always +2
Oxygen always -2
Group 7 always -1
Noble gases, elemental or homonuclear (the same element) molecules are zero
The rest you have to figure out by subtracting or adding to achieve whatever charge the compound bears.