Problem: Identify the oxidizing agent and the reducing agent for4Li(s) + O2(g) → 2Li2O (s)Mg(s) + Fe2+(aq) → Mg2+(aq) + Fe(s)

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We’re being asked to identify the oxidizing and reducing agents in the given reactions:

a) 4 Li(s) + O2(g)  2 Li2O (s)

b) Mg(s) + Fe2+(aq)  Mg2+(aq) + Fe(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


82% (52 ratings)
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Problem Details

Identify the oxidizing agent and the reducing agent for

4Li(s) + O2(g) → 2Li2O (s)

Mg(s) + Fe2+(aq) → Mg2+(aq) + Fe(s)

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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 Redox Reactions concept. You can view video lessons to learn Redox Reactions. Or if you need more Redox Reactions practice, you can also practice Redox Reactions practice problems.

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