In chemistry, the loss of electrons
, gain of oxygen, or loss of hydrogen by an atom, ion, or molecule during a chemical reaction.
At a simple level, oxidation may be regarded as the reaction of a substance with oxygen. For example, rusting
, and combustion
(burning) are all oxidation reactions. When carbon is burned in air it is oxidized to carbon dioxide:
C + O2 ® CO2
Oxidation may be brought about by reaction with another compound (oxidizing agent), which simultaneously undergoes reduction
, or electrically at the anode (positive electrode) of an electrolytic cell.
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