identify oxidant in magnesium and hydrochloric acid

Chemistry
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

The reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid is represented by the following equation: 

Mg + 2HCl -> MgCl2 + H2
Identify the oxidant in this reaction. Explain your answer with reference to oxidation numbers. 

Apr 22nd, 2015

In your equation, the oxidation state of Mg on the left is 0 because all elements in their normal condition have oxidation numbers of 0. On the right side, in MgCl2, you have an Mg2+ ion, and so it has an oxidation number of +2. So, Mg has been oxidized. 

On the left side, the H in HCl has an oxidation number of +1, and on the right the H in H2 has an oxidation number of 0. So, H has been reduced. Therefore, H+ is the oxidant.

Apr 22nd, 2015

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Apr 22nd, 2015
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