Toward a smarter way of recharging the aquifer

To replenish groundwater, many municipalities inject reclaimed water into depleted aquifers. The injected water has been purified by secondary wastewater treatment, and, in some cases, the water has been treated through tertiary ...

Copper-based nanomaterials can kill cancer cells in mice

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from KU Leuven, the University of Bremen, the Leibniz Institute of Materials Engineering, and the University of Ioannina has succeeded in killing tumour cells in mice using nano-sized ...

Chemist develops flower-like catalysts from graphene

A RUDN chemist and colleagues from Iran have developed a new strategy for producing hollow, porous catalysts for the Heck coupling reaction. These catalysts are characterized by a flower-like structure. They consist of graphene, ...

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Redox (shorthand for reduction-oxidation reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. This can be either a simple redox process such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or it can be a complex process such as the oxidation of sugar in the human body through a series of very complex electron transfer processes.

The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:

Though sufficient for many purposes, these descriptions are not precisely correct. Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation number — the actual transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in oxidation number, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation number. In practice, the transfer of electrons will always cause a change in oxidation number, but there are many reactions that are classed as "redox" even though no electron transfer occurs (such as those involving covalent bonds).

Non-redox reactions, which do not involve changes in formal charge, are known as metathesis reactions.

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