Oxidizing Agent: Gains Electrons

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When you think about a nail rusting and food spoiling, these are common examples of processes that involve oxidizing agents. __Oxidizing agents__ are substances that gain electrons in a chemical reaction - because of this action, oxidizing agents are also known as __electron acceptors__.

Let us visualize what an oxidizing agent is. We said that earlier that oxidizing agents accepts electrons. Let us recall that electrons have a ''negative charge''. When oxidizing agents gain a negative charge, it can be said that they are 'reduced', as shown in the following diagram:

[{Image src='oxidizing_agent_1.png' alt='Oxidizing Agent: Gains Electrons'}]

The reason why a substance is called an oxidizing agent is that it oxidizes another substance. In the diagram above, it shows that the oxidizing agent gains electrons from another substance, which is the reducing agent. When an oxidizing agent gains electrons, it gets reduced, and, as a result, oxidizes the reducing agent.
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Something that can help is this mnemonic device:

[{Image src='oxidizing_agent_2.png' alt='GEROA Mnemonic'}]

!!!Oxidizing Agent Half Reaction

Earlier, we have stated that an ''oxidizing agent gains electrons''. Therefore, the oxidizing agent is the substance that is reduced in a chemical reaction.

In a chemical reaction, whenever reduction takes place, oxidation also takes place - oxidation and reduction goes hand in hand. To clearly determine which is the oxidizing agent, we break down this chemical reaction into __half reactions__. When we refer to a half reaction, one is the reduction component, and the other is the oxidizing component.

The following is the net ionic equation when magnesium reacts with copper oxide and forms copper. We will show the reduction and oxidation half reactions to show more clearly which is the oxidizing agent

[{Image src='half_reactions.png' alt='Half

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