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Answered 2011-02-14 15:45:38

A good reducing agent is something that can easily lend a hydrogen atom.

Nitrogens Hydrogens are in a subshell that is much closer to the nucleus of the Nitrogen atom. This smaller radius results in a greater attraction between the electrons H+ and N share.

Bismuth (Bi) has a much larger radius, so the forces are more diluted, and the H+ is more easily removed from the Bi.

Because the Nitrogens H+ in NH3 is harder to remove it is a mild reducing agent. Bismuth has a H+ that can be removed easily so it is a stronger reducing agent.

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1) Oxidizing agent is an electron acceptor while Reducing agent is an electron donor. 2) Oxidizing agent is substance which is reduced in its oxidation number while Reducing agent is a substance which is increased in its oxidation number. 3) Oxidizing agent is a substance in which its oxidation number decreases in a positive direction while Reducing agent is a substance in which its oxidation number decreases in a negative direction


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An oxidizing agent oxidizes the reducing agent, while the reducing agent reduces the oxidizing agent. In simple terms, both processes occur simultaneously. Oxidizing is defined as: the gain of oxygen, loss of hydrogen or loss of electrons. E.g.: C + O2 -> CO2 In this case oxygen would be the oxidizing agent as it supplies oxygen to the carbon. Similarly carbon would be the reducing agent in this case.


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The tendency of alkali metals to act as strong reducing agents is evident from the fact that these metals can liberate H2 from H2 O and acids. 2M+2H2O-----------------2MOH+H2 2M+2HCl------------------2MCl+H2We have already seen that Li atom loses its ns1 electron with great difficulty while Cs atom should have maximum reducing power among the alkali metals . In other words ,we can also say Li -atom ,because of its maximum ionisation energy, should have minimum reducing power and Cs atom ,because of its minimum ionisation energy ,should have maximum reducing power .The high valves of oxidation potential show that alkali metals can lose their ns1 electron quite readily and hence have a strong tendency to act as reducing agents.


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