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Problem: Sodium reacts with water according to the reaction:2 Na(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 NaOH(aq) + H2(g)Identify the oxidizing agent.

FREE Expert Solution
  • Recall the mnemonic GEROA which means Gain Electrons is Reduction = Oxidizing Agent. This tells us that whichever gains electron/s will be considered as the OA
  • Analyze the reactants and product's oxidation number to find who gained electron (became more negative)
  • For the reactants:

Na(s) + H2O(l)

  • Na in Na (s) is 0,  recall that oxidation number of an element in its natural state is zero
  • H2O: H is +1 (H with nonmetal is considered +1) and O is -2 (O is usually -2 except in peroxides and superoxides)


  • For the products:

NaOH(aq) + H2(g)

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Problem Details

Sodium reacts with water according to the reaction:

2 Na(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 NaOH(aq) + H2(g)

Identify the oxidizing agent.

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 Redox Reactions concept. If you need more Redox Reactions practice, you can also practice Redox Reactions practice problems.