Thesis: Oxidation-Reduction Series of Chemical Reactions

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Oxidation-reduction-reactions are a series of chemical reactions characterized by electron transfer from one molecular species to another (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 141). Specifically, oxidation describes the loss of electrons, while reduction refers to the gain of electrons (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142). The molecular species which removes, or accepts, electrons during an oxidation-reduction-reaction is known as an oxidizing agent, or an electron acceptor (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142). Conversely, molecules which donate electrons are termed reducing agents, or electron donors (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142).

While oxidizing agents frequently contain oxygen, its presence is not a strict requirement for oxidation (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 141-143). Oxidizing molecules usually possess a high electronegativity, resulting in a strong attraction toward electrons (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142). In addition to oxygen, the halogens fluorine, chlorine and bromine are common oxidizers that are strongly electronegative (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 141-143). In the case of the browning apple, however, the oxidizer is the oxygen present within the air (Nicolas et al.).

Reducing agents are molecular species which reduce other molecules, i.e. they donate electrons to another molecule (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142). Reducing agents tend to be extremely varied and often highly electropositive (Kotz, Treichel, & Townsend 142-143). The high electropositivity accounts for a reducing agents predilection to donate electrons.

The browning of an apple occurs when the skin is broken and cell walls of the apple are compromised (Nicolas et al.). Ruptured cell walls allow the cellular contents to be exposed to the oxygen present within the air. In apples, an enzyme known as polyphenol oxidase facilitates the oxidation process (Nicolas et al.). Polyphenol oxidase, also known as tyrosinase, is an enzymatic protein found within the chloroplast of the apple cell (Nicolas et al.). Polyphenol oxidases function to drive o-hydroxylation of monophenolic compounds to produce o-diphenols and further catalyze the oxidative conversion of o-diphenols to o-quinones (Nicolas et al.). When… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Oxidation-Reduction Series of Chemical Reactions.  (2009, October 28).  Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/oxidation-reduction-series-chemical/469501

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"Oxidation-Reduction Series of Chemical Reactions."  Essaytown.com.  October 28, 2009.  Accessed September 17, 2019.
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