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I've got a question regarding 'notation' for redox reactions. Suppose you are asked to identify the oxidizing and reducing agents for a simple reaction like this one:

$$\ce{Cl2(aq)}+\ce{2KI(aq)} \longrightarrow \ce{2KCl(aq)}+\ce{I2(aq)}$$

Now are you supposed to say $\ce{Cl}$ is the oxidizing agent or $\ce{Cl2}$? Also, is $\ce{KI}$ the reducing agent or $\ce{I}$ or $\ce{I^-}$?

By the way, if you were instead asked to identify which species got oxidized, would you again say that $\ce{KI}$ is oxidized or $\ce{I}$ or $\ce{I^-}$?

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Ignoring spectator ions,

$\ce{Cl2 +2 I- ->2Cl- +I2}$

So, $\ce{Cl2}$ is the oxidant and $\ce{I-}$ is the reductant.

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  • $\begingroup$ So is it incorrect to, for instance, say that $\ce{I}$ is the reducing agent? $\endgroup$ – Sheheryar Zaidi Oct 18 '14 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yes - you must say I- is the reducing agent. $\endgroup$ – t.c Oct 18 '14 at 15:22

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