Chemistry
Elements and Compounds
Photosynthesis

What is the part of the reaction that involves only oxidation or reduction?

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May 31, 2007 7:14PM

It's not entirely clear what the question is asking... but oxidation involves the loss of electrons from an atom or ion, and reduction involves the gain of electrons. The other parts of a redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction may involve atoms forming and breaking bonds, but the oxidation or reduction part is just about losing or gaining electrons. You might be talking about what is called a "half-reaction." A half-reaction is the part of the reaction that is only either the oxidation step or the reduction step. Neither is a complete reaction, but put together the two half-reactions give the overall reactions. In the oxidation half-reaction, electrons come out as products, and in the reduction half-reaction electrons go in as reactants. Remember: OIL RIG Oxidation Is Loss; Reduction Is Gain.