We’re being asked which of the given reactions is not a redox reaction. The weakest reducing agent is the strongest oxidizing agent. Oxidizing agents are the species that are being reduced in a redox reaction. Recall the mnemonics LEO GER.
A change in charge or oxidation state indicates the loss or gain of an electron.
The rules for oxidation states are as follows:
A. General Rules:
1. For an atom in its elemental form (Zn, Cl2, C(graphite), etc.) O.S. = 0
2. For an ion (Li+, Al3+, etc.) O.S. = charge
B. Specific Rules:
1. Group 1A O.S. = +1
2. Group 2A O.S. = +2
3. Hydrogen O.S. = +1, with nonmetals
O.S. = –1 with metals and boron
4. Fluorine O.S. = –1
5. Oxygen O.S. = –1 in peroxides (X2O2, X = Group 1A)
O.S. = –1/2 in superoxides (XO2, X = Group 1A)
O.S. = –2 in other compounds
6. Group 7A O.S. = –1 (except when bonded to O)
All of the following are oxidation-reduction reactions EXCEPT
a. MgCO3(s) → MgO(s) + CO2(g)
b. 2 Li(s) + Br2(g) → 2 LiBr(g)
c. Fe(s) + 2 HCl(aq) → FeCl2(aq) + H2(g)
d. 2 C(s) + O2(g) → 2 CO(g)
e. 2 H2O(l) → 2 H2(g) + O2(g)
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