# Can water oxidize zinc?

According to this textbook, H₂O has lower reduction potential (-0.83 V) than Zn (-0.76 V). This mean zinc is unable to reduce water to hydroxide. If so, why this video demonstrate that by heating zinc in water, a reaction occurs producing hydrogen gas from the bubbles while also turning wet red litmus paper blue?

• The given value of −0.83 V corresponds to pH = 14. You should also be able to find the value for pH = 0 in your list, and then estimate what happens with water at a roughly neutral pH – Loong Mar 10 at 20:49
• Ok so i found out the answer, zinc cannot directly reduce water to form zinc hydroxide because it has lower reduction potential (-0.76V) than water (-0.83V). Zinc does not react with cold water, however it reacts with hot steam or boiling hot water. This is because high temperature increases water autoionization, thereby increasing the presence of H⁺ and OH⁻. So, zinc is actually reducing H⁺ ion to H₂ because H⁺ ion has higher reduction potential. The Zn²⁺ then reacts with OH⁻ to form Zn(OH)₂ – snowwatermelon Mar 11 at 6:53

$$\ce{Zn + 2 H2O -> Zn(OH)2 + H2}$$