Na is high reducing agent but Cl is high oxidising agent why?

Na is high reducing agent but Cl is high oxidising agent why?

Grade:Upto college level

1 Answers

AKASH GOYAL AskiitiansExpert-IITD
419 Points
11 years ago

Dear Charu

A good reducing agent must be able to donate electrons readily. This means that it must not have very much attraction for electrons. Among the elements, low electronegativity is characteristic of good reducing agents. Molecules and ions which contain relatively electropositive elements which have low oxidation numbers are also good reducing agents. Oxidizing agents, on the other hand, must be able to accept electrons readily. Highly electronegative elements can do this.

All four elemental halogens, F2, Cl2, Br2, and I2, are able to accept electrons according to the half-equation

X2 + 2e → 2X      X = F, Cl, Br, I

As we might expect from the periodic variation of electronegativity, the oxidizing power of the halogens decreases in the order F2 > Cl2 > Br2 > I2. Fluorine is such a strong oxidizing agent that it can react with water.


 All the best.                                                          


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