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If a base accepts protons and donates electrons does that make it a reducing agent since a reducing agent is itself oxidized (loses electrons)? Same question for Acids and Oxidizing agents?

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Contributor III

Re: Oxidation/Reduction

No.  Acid-base reactions are distinct from oxidation-reduction reactions.  In a redox reaction, the base (or current) state of an element is changed by the exchange of electrons with another element.  For example elemental oxygen (valence state 0) reacts with elemental hydrogen (valence state 0) by accepting an electron from hydrogen to obtain a valence state of -2 while the hydrogen giving up those electrons goes to a valence state of +1.  THEN those may combine to a 'neutral' stable-energy molecule balancing those relative charges as H2O.

Acids and bases already have an ionic charge associated with them due to the degree of dissociation, or ionization, in a solution.  No change of valence state occurs when acids and bases react.  For example, HCl and NaOH reacting are really just recombining TWO different existing ionic forms, H+ with OH- and Cl- with Na+ to form H2O and NaCl.

The concept of electron exchanges in acid-base chemistry was a development that allowed for the explanation of those types of reactions in compounds that did not fit the older, simpler, inorganic ion in water solution descriptions.  It did not involve oxidation-reduction reaction mechanisms.

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