What is an oxidizer

Oxidizing agent

Oxidizer is a redirect to this article. For the meaning of this term in the aquarium hobby, see Oxidator (aquarium hobby).

A Oxidizing agent (also Oxidant or Oxidizer) is a substance that can oxidize other substances and is itself reduced in the process. Oxidizing agents can accept electrons while the reducing agents release them. That is why oxidizing agents are also known as electron acceptors.

Change of term

In the narrower, historical sense, an oxidizing agent is - in addition to oxygen itself - first of all a substance that Release oxygen can (but then it is better to speak of oxygen carriers). In view of the fact that oxygen itself - as well as fluorine, chlorine, etc. - the Electrons of the oxidized (fuel) substance records, then became the current definition as Electron acceptor created.


Oxygen difluoride and fluorine itself are the most powerful oxidizing agents after krypton difluoride. Further examples are hydrogen peroxide H2O2 and its adducts such as sodium percarbonate, oxygenated anions (Oxo anions) of transition metals in high oxidation states such as permanganate MnO4 (see potassium permanganate) or dichromate Cr2O72− and chromium (VI) oxide (Jones oxidation), metal ions such as Ce4+, Precious metal ions such as those of silver and copper, anions of Halogenated oxygen acids like bromate BrO3 and hypochlorite ClO, or just elements like oxygen (Latin: Oxygenium, hence the terms "oxidizing agent" etc.), sulfur and the HalogensFluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine.

Oxidation and reduction

Oxidizing agents react with reducing agents in a redox reaction, which is also the basis for the dimensional analytical method of redox titration, for example. Oxidizing agents oxidize substances and become themselves in the process reduced.

Oxidizing agents as bleaching and disinfecting agents


as well as

are (or were) the following oxidizing agents of everyday importance:

Chlorine-based methods are more efficient and cheaper than oxygen-based, but on the other hand they are more questionable from an environmental point of view and tend to have an unpleasant smell. However, ozone has a similar effect on people as chlorine - irritating to toxic.

Substance list

→ Category: Oxidising substance

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