Balancing Redox Reactions Video Lessons

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Problem: How many electrons does each oxygen atom gain during the course of this reaction?Oxydation of calcium metal by molecular oxygen.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the number of electrons gained by oxygen in the oxidation of calcium metal by molecular oxygen.

2 Ca(s) + O2 (g) → CaO(s)


To do so, we need to identify the change in oxidation state for each element in the reaction. 

Recall the mnemonic for redox reactions:

Loss Electrons  Oxidation  Reducing Agent

Gain Electrons  Reduction  Oxidizing Agent


This means the element that gains electrons/reduced is the oxidizing agent while the element that loses electrons/oxidized is the reducing agent


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Problem Details

How many electrons does each oxygen atom gain during the course of this reaction?

A series of photographs shows the overall reaction of the reactants 2 Ca (solid) plus O2 (gas) going to the product 2 CaO (solid). In the first photograph, calcium (solid) is oxidized (loses electrons) while O2 is reduced (gains electrons). Solid calcium appears as a dull metal. In the second photograph, Ca2+ and O2- ions combine to form CaO (solid). Solid CaO appears a lustrous metal.


Oxydation of calcium metal by molecular oxygen.


Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Balancing Redox Reactions concept. You can view video lessons to learn Balancing Redox Reactions. Or if you need more Balancing Redox Reactions practice, you can also practice Balancing Redox Reactions practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Pinkston's class at UNR.