We've all learnt that the reduction always accompanies oxidation and vice versa Why is this so? Why is it not possible that a species releases an electron and the electron just "floats around"? Is this related to the stability of a free electron?

  • $\begingroup$ @Asker123 So there are highly unfavourbale cases where this happens? Can you provide an example? $\endgroup$ – Binary Geek May 17 '15 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ My bad, there are no highly unfavorable cases. Even then, there must be an outside cause. $\endgroup$ – Asker123 May 17 '15 at 16:33

If something is to be reduced then there must be a reducing agent present. Also if something is oxidized then there must be an oxidizing agent present.

You must have a reducing agent or oxidizing agent present in order for a redox reaction to take place. An element can't just dislocate it's electrons. There must be an outside force present in order to do that.

  • $\begingroup$ Let's say I supply a lot of heat to a sodium atom. Why can't the electron be ejected and remain as such without reducing any of the species present in the environment? $\endgroup$ – Binary Geek May 17 '15 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ The outside force in this situation is heat. Of course this can happen, but however I doubt that the electrons will just remain present in the environment for long. Theoretically, yes it is possible. $\endgroup$ – Asker123 May 17 '15 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any example you can provide where electrons remain present in the environment for long (theroretical or experimental)? $\endgroup$ – Binary Geek May 18 '15 at 2:09

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