Oxidizing agents all fall into one or both of two basic categories. An oxidizing agent releases oxygen atoms, accepts electrons from a reducing agent in a redox reaction, or both. Not all oxidizing agents in the latter group contain oxygen.
These oxidizing agent examples are the perfect kick-starter to help you learn more about these chemicals.
1. Chlorine and Its Compounds
We’ve all encountered chlorine in bleach and swimming pools, but have you ever stopped to think about how the substances work? Chlorine drives these common applications as an oxidizing agent.
When using chlorine bleach to remove stains from white shirts, it breaks chemical bonds that color the stain. The oxidizing powers of chlorine and some compounds containing it also break up organic molecules. In short, oxidation is what makes chlorine an excellent disinfectant.
2. Molybdenum Oxide
Molybdenum is a metal, but there aren’t deposits of it like there are of iron and other ores. The element shows up in several little-known minerals, including lindgrenite and biehlite.
Industries including oil refining and plastic production use molybdenum oxide powder in manufacturing processes. Humans also need a small amount of molybdenum, which most people get from their natural diets. It oxidizes sulfites and urates in the blood, an essential reaction for avoiding neurological harm.
3. Nitrous Oxide
Many oxidizing agents are unstable to a degree that they can combust or explode out of nowhere. If the public were to take note of any oxidizing agent, you might think it would be one of those volatile compounds.
On the contrary, nitrous oxide is more stable. It’s also the most well-known oxidizing agent apart from chlorine and oxygen gas itself.
It’s a notorious chemical known by many as “laughing gas” or “nitrous” for short. This big, bad reputation comes from its use in medicine and dentistry as an anesthetic.
As the nickname implies, inhalation leads to euphoria and giggling. It also has a delirious, disorienting effect. Nitrous oxide is popular as a recreational drug for that reason and due to its high ease of access.
While it’s best known for those uses, so-called nitrous also lends a boost to internal combustion engines. Its oxidizing properties lead it to burn at high temperatures, allowing more fuel injection and engine power. For that reason, it’s used in auto racing and helped propel some airplanes in World War II.
4. Oxygen Gas
Oxygen gas is the most basic of all the oxidizing agents. It’s part of many compounds that serve as oxidizers and is one by itself. It accepts electrons as it combines with other chemicals in redox reactions.
Its oxidizing properties are the root of some chemical reactions known by all: Combustion is a redox reaction in which an oxidizer, often oxygen, acts upon a fuel. Oxygen also reacts as an oxidizing agent with iron, leading to rust.
Oxidizing Agent Examples and Other Next-Level Knowledge
This list of common oxidizing agent examples is handy for chemistry projects and gives labs an idea of what to have in stock. It can also help you grow your business with new materials and tactics.
If you want other next-level knowledge to improve your work and impress friends, this is the site for you. Click around and open your mind with facts and tips you’ll wonder how you ever did without.