In the diagram, oxygen is the oxidizing agent because it draws away magnesium’s valence electrons.An oxidizing agents cause other elements to lose electrons. The oxidizing agent gains the electrons lost by other elements.
In the diagram to the right, chlorine needs an electron to complete the pairing of its valence electrons. Thus, in a chemical reaction, chlorine acts as an oxidizing agent.
Chlorine, the oxidizing agent, causes sodium to be oxidized (to lose electrons).
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