Chemguide: Support for CIE A level Chemistry

Learning outcome 6.1


Redox processes: electron transfer and changes in oxidation number (oxidation state)

These statements cover a lot of terms related to oxidation and reduction processes - redox reactions. What follows will cover everything in the statements, but not in the same order.

Before you go on, you should find and read the statements in your copy of the syllabus.

Statements 6.1.1 and 6.1.5

Start by reading the page about definitions of oxidation and reduction in the Inorganic Chemistry section of Chemguide.

Concentrate on the definitions in terms of electron transfer, and be sure that you can work out what happens to the oxidising or reducing agent during a redox reaction in terms of electrons.

Then read the page about writing ionic equations for redox reactions.

This is actually asked in statement 24.2.7 (a part of the material which will only be tested at the end of the course) but you should look at it now as well, because it is a useful skill to have.

It is important that you understand what half-reactions are, and how they are combined to give an overall equation. You can ignore the link at the bottom of the page to a further section about working out half-equations under alkaline conditions. You are fairly unlikely to need this - especially not during the first half of the course.

Finally, read the page about oxidation states (oxidation numbers).

Take your time over this - it is giving you tools which will be essential throughout the rest of the course.

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© Jim Clark 2019