Thermodynamics/Redox Reactions

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Question
Out of the three gases, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, which is the strongest: (1)oxidizing agent and (2)reducing agent and why?

Answer
Hi Isabel,

Chlorine is the strongest oxidizing agent. Oxidation means loss of electrons and as chlorine needs an electron to complete its eight outer electron shell to become the ion Cl- (twice)it is strongly oxidizing.

Hydrogen sulfide is the most reducing as it has electrons to give up to form H+ ions.

Things which are oxidizing are on the right of the periodic table (not inert gases) due to relatively higher numbers of protons while atoms on the left tend to give up electrons due to the relative scarcity of protons.

I hope this helps.
Best wishes.

Kevin.

Thermodynamics

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Kevin

Expertise

Thermodynamics, chemistry, chemical reactions, kinetics, chemical reaction safety, dust explosion technology, static electricity. General science.

Experience

Over 40 years experience as a practicing thermochemist in industry. Head of the fire and explosion laboratory of a major European chemical company (Ciba-Geigy). Now retired.

Organizations
Institute of Chemical Engineers. Royal Society of Chemistry.

Education/Credentials
Chartered Chemist, Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (C.Chem MRSC). Msc Sheffield.

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