Another example is hydrogen peroxide, in which the oxygen atom is in the -1 oxidation state.In chemistry, an oxidizing agent (oxidant, oxidizer) is a substance that has the ability to oxidize other substances (cause them to lose electrons).
Sodium went from an oxidation state of 0 to an oxidation state of plus 1. 0 to plus 1 is an increase in oxidation state, so therefore, sodium, by definition, is being oxidized. That's a decrease in the oxidation state, and therefore, chlorine is being reduced. Now, before we assign oxidizing and reducing agents, let's just go ahead and talk about this one more time, except showing all of the valence electrons.So here, we're forming sodium chloride from sodium metal and chlorine gas.And so before you assign oxidizing and reducing agents, you need to assign oxidation states. And so the sodium atoms are atoms in their elemental form and therefore have an oxidation state equal to 0.There are many common processes, such as rusting, aging and combustion, that involve substances called oxidizing agents.In this lesson, we will discuss the definition and common examples of oxidizing agents. These are the end results of processes that involve oxidizing agents.