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Chlorine, Green, Lean, and Mean!

GOAL: Meet Chlorine (Cl). Revisit the concepts of Reducing and Oxidizing agents.

Introduce the Chlorine–from the family of the Halogen–, a cousin of Tom the Atom.  She is in Column 17, Group 7A, row 3 of the Periodic Table. 

She belongs to the family of Halogens. 

Accordingly, she has 3 belts of shell and 7 valence electrons or “hands” and one “empty sleeve.”  

Chlorine is very prompt to combine with other elements; she is an excellent example to introduce Oxidizing Agent or Reducing Agent. An Oxidizing Agent is an atom or compound that takes “hands” or valence electrons rather than giving them away to other atoms.  A Reducing Agent is the opposite; those atoms or compounds like to give away valence electrons rather than take them.  Chorine and her sisters have more hands that “empty sleeves.”  Accordingly, they prefer to take electrons from other atoms –they are OXIDIZING AGENTS.

When an oxidizing agent takes valence-electrons, it is REDUCED.  Simultaneously, a reducing agent that prefers to give away valence-electrons or “hands” is said to be OXIDIZED.

In general, if the atom has more “hands” than “empty sleeve,” the atom will act as an Oxidizing agent (taking “hands” or valence electrons from other atoms to be full).  Suppose the atom has more “empty sleeves” than “hands” (or valence electrons).  In that case, the atom will prefer to act as a Reducing Agent by giving “hands” or valence electrons Away to other atoms and will, itself, be Oxidized.


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