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Redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions include all chemical reactions in which atoms have
their oxidation state changedthat is, redox reactions involve the transfer
of electrons between species.
This can be either a simple redox process, such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon
dioxide (CO2) or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH
), or a complex
process such as the oxidation of glucose(C
) in the human body through a series of
complex electron transfer processes.
The term "redox" comes from two concepts involved with electron transfer: reduction and
oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:
Oxidation is the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state by a molecule, atom,
or ion.
Reduction is the gain of electrons or a decrease in oxidation state by a molecule, atom,
or ion.
Although oxidation reactions are commonly associated with the formation of oxides from
oxygen molecules, these are only specific examples of a more general concept of reactions
involving electron transfer.
Redox reactions, or oxidation-reduction reactions, have a number of similarities to acid
base reactions. Like acidbase reactions, redox reactions are a matched set, that is, there
cannot be an oxidation reaction without a reduction reaction happening simultaneously. The
oxidation alone and the reduction alone are each called a half-reaction, because two half-
reactions always occur together to form a whole reaction. When writing half-reactions,
the gained or lost electrons are typically included explicitly in order that the half-reaction
be balanced with respect to electric charge.
Though sufficient for many purposes, these descriptions are not precisely correct.
Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation state the actual
transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in
oxidation state, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation state. In practice, the transfer
of electrons will always cause a change in oxidation state, but there are many reactions
that are classed as "redox" even though no electron transfer occurs (such as those
involving covalent bonds).

Oxidation reduction is essential for comfortable living, travel and your basic ability
to breath. Oxidation reduction is a form of a redox reaction, specifically a process by
which oxygen is removed from a compound. The result of an oxidation reduction reaction is
often heat, but it can also create a number of other essential compounds that you require
for life.
Car Fuel
Gasoline powered automobiles use an oxidation reduction process to convert
gasoline into power. The process reduces nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and oxygen, oxidizes
carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and oxidizes hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and
water. The oxidation reduction system occurs simultaneously inside of your catalytic
converter in your engine, providing an efficient conversion of fuel to energy. Newer
versions of the converter increase the efficiency of this process, but they continue to
rely on the same principle process.
Heating Your House
Your home heating system uses another form of oxidation reduction to generate heat for
your home. This process reduces hydrocarbons and oxygen into flammable carbon dioxide
and water. This reduction procedure generates energy in the form of heat, that is used to
warm your home. The oxidation reduction process is very quick, occurring almost
instantaneously in your home heating unit. The heat release from this form of oxidation
reduction process is essential for the conversion of hydrocarbons into home utilities.
Plants use the photosynthesis process to break down carbon dioxide and sunlight into
nourishment. This process is an oxidation reduction that separates the hydrocarbons
found in sunlight, as well as the carbon dioxide from the air. The process produces
carbohydrates for the plant, releasing excess oxygen naturally into the environment. This
form of oxidation reduction is essential for the natural life cycle, replenishing the supply
of oxygen in the air.
Natural respiration is the opposite of the photosynthesis process, providing essential
oxygen to breathing animals. This process uses oxygen from the air, and carbohydrates
from your own body, in an oxidation reduction process that supplies your body with oxygen
and releases the essential carbon dioxide that plants rely on for their survival.