# definition of oxidizing agent

For the reaction $\ce{SF4 + F2 -> SF6}$, since oxidation state of $\ce{S}$ increased from +4 in $\ce{SF4}$ to +6 in $\ce{SF6}$, can $\ce{F2}$ be referred to as the oxidizing agent?

• Sure, it can and should. – Ivan Neretin Feb 14 '17 at 11:30
• As for definitions, a reducing agent is an electron donor, an oxidising agent an electron acceptor. – porphyrin Feb 14 '17 at 15:27

## 2 Answers

Oxidation means increase in Oxidation state or loss in electrons.

Example: $\ce{Fe^2+ -> Fe^3+ + e-}$

Oxidizing agent is a substance that oxidizes other substances and reduces itself.

In your example, $\ce{F2}$ will act as oxidizing agent as in the reactant side its oxidation state is $0$ but in the product side its oxidation state is $-1$, which means that its oxidation state in decreased, i.e. $\ce{F2}$ is reduced.

$$\ce{SF4 + F2 -> SF6}$$

Here, the oxidation state of $\ce{S}$ increases from +4 to +6, so $\ce{SF4}$ is the reducing agent and $\ce{F2}$ is the oxidizing agent.