Oxidation/Reduction Reaction examples

Use your clickers to answer

A piece of clean copper is placed in a solution of silver nitrate. Assuming the copper goes to Cu(II) write a balanced equation. Notice that in this case you must balance the charge in order to get the final equation.


















As another example we can look at a key oxidation reaction in glycolysis, the central pathway of metabolism. Don't worry about these reactions - they will not be on an exam. They are presented for your interest.

    • In this case we use a biological oxidizing agent, NAD+ to take electrons (in the form of a hydride ion, H:-)

chemical equation for the oxidation of Ga-3-P to 1,3-bisPGA by NAD+

    • Frequently organisms need to operate this reaction under anaerobic (oxygen free) conditions. For example the maximum power (energy/sec) you can get from your muscles is anaerobically. For this to occur you need to regenerate the oxidizer (NAD+) without the presence of oxygen. For this to occur we use another reaction:

chemical equation for the reduction of Pyruvate to L-lactate by NADH

The mechanism for this electron transfer is shown below:

simplified mechanism for the elctron transfer used in lactate dehydrogenase



















The Half-Reaction Method

In the half-reaction method what we do is first break an equation into two parts and then balance the parts individually. Presented stepwise:


© R A Paselk

Last modified 9 December 2009