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Oxidation and Reduction
Reduction Reaction:​ A reduction is a chemical reaction that involves one atom gaining
Reduction Reaction (w/out electron gain):​ A reduction reaction is an increase in the number of
bonds between a carbon and atoms that​ are​ less electronegative than carbon (often hydrogen).
*Since this reaction does not simply “gain electrons” one must look at other factors of the
reaction. The product results in a new bond with a hydrogen, and as Carbon electronegativity is
2.5, and Hydrogen electronegativity is 2.1, it is a reduction.
Oxidation Reaction: ​An oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when electrons from one
atom are lost.
Oxidation Reaction(w/out loss of electrons):​ An oxidation occurs when there is an increase in
the number of bonds between a carbon and
​ atoms that are ​more electronegative than the carbon
(often oxygen).
❖ Useful tip for remembering the functions of reduction and oxidation is: ​OIL RIG
O​xidation ​I​s ​L​ost ​R​eduction ​I​s ​G​ained
Oxidation and reduction reactions are important to know as they can be used to interconvert
carbonyl groups and alcohols. Alcohols can be oxidized into aldehydes, and aldehydes can be
reduced into alcohols.
Works Cited
Hardinger, Steven. “Chemistry 14D Lecture Supplement” 4th Ed. Hayden McNeil. 2016. Print.