2nd October 2019

chemguide
14

What does it mean to be the most oxidized?

An oxidising agent oxidises something else. Oxidation is loss of electrons (OIL RIG). That means that an oxidising agent takes electrons from that other substance. So an oxidising agent must gain electrons.

Accordingly, what is the oxidation of carbon?

So unlike metals, which are almost always in a positive oxidation state, the oxidation state of carbon can vary widely, from -4 (in CH4) to +4 (such as in CO2). Here are some examples. (Don't forget that this is called a “formalism” for a reason. The charge on the carbon isn't really +4 or –4.

Which carbon atom is the most reduced?

In reference to organic molecules, oxidation is a process by which a carbon atom gains bonds to more electronegative elements, most commonly oxygen. Reduction is a process by which a carbon atom gains bonds to less electronegative elements, most commonly hydrogen.

Can carbon dioxide be oxidized?

It depends on what chemical reaction you're getting the CO2 from. If you are just talking about getting CO2 from the elements carbon and oxygen, then the carbon has been oxidised(therefore it's a reducing agent), because it's oxidation number changed from 0 to +4.