# Reduction of oxides by carbon

When reducing an oxide with carbon what would be the product? I think it would produce $\ce{CO2}$ and then the $\ce{CO2}$ would react with $\ce{C}$ to give some amount of $\ce{CO}$. For example:

$$\ce{2CuO + C -> 2Cu + CO2}$$

• You can see ellingham diagram which precisely tells what would be formed under what conditions. – Archis Welankar May 5 '17 at 12:28

If the conditions of the reaction (depending on temperature, pressure and any other gases present) are such that you are producing $\ce{CO2}$, then $\ce{CuO}$ should readily oxidize any $\ce{CO}$ that gets produced all the way to $\ce{CO2}$.
$$\ce{2CuO + C -> 2Cu + CO2}$$
and if you have any formation of $\ce{CO}$, it will be oxidized as:
$$\ce{CuO + CO -> Cu + CO2}$$
It depends a lot on the reaction conditions. You might have heard of extraction of iron from ore, which involves using carbon to reduce it. In that process $\ce{CO}$ is formed, while in your example of copper, $\ce{CO2}$ is formed. It depends on the extent to which it gets oxidized.