Problem: Which species is the oxidizing agent in the reaction shown? Fe(s) + PbCl2(aq) → FeCl2(aq) + Pb(s)a. ironb. lead(II) ionc. iron(II) iond. lead

FREE Expert Solution

We’re asked to determine which species of the reactants is the oxidizing agent.

First, we need to determine which element is reduced or oxidized, and to do that we must identify the changes in their oxidation states or numbers.

Remember that an Oxidizing agent is the one that gains electrons and is reduced in a chemical reaction. While the reducing agent loses electrons and is oxidized.

To identify it, we compare the oxidation number of the element on the reactant side with the product side.

Remember the mnemonics:

Loss               Gain

Electrons       Electrons

Oxidation       Reduction


Fe(s) + PbCl2(aq)  FeCl2(aq) + Pb(s)

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Problem Details

Which species is the oxidizing agent in the reaction shown? 

Fe(s) + PbCl2(aq) → FeCl2(aq) + Pb(s)

a. iron

b. lead(II) ion

c. iron(II) ion

d. lead

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

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