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A reducer, more commonly referred to as reducing agent or reductant. is an element or compound that loses (or "donates") an electron to another chemical species in a redox chemical reaction. Since the reducing agent is losing electrons, it is said to have been oxidized.
Reducing agents are called electron donors, and participate in electron-transfer reactions.
In organic chemistry, reduction more specifically refers to the addition of hydrogen to a molecule, process also referred to as hydrogenation.
- Free elements: carbon, hydrogen, magnesium
- Metal hydrides: calcium hydride, lithium aluminium hydride, sodium borohydride
- Nonmetal hydrides: hydrazine, phosphine
- Acids: ascorbic acid, citric acid, formic acid, hydrogen sulfide, hydroiodic acid
- Salts: metabisulfites, sulfites, thiosulfates, salts of transition metals in low oxidation states (e.g. iron (II) sulfate)
- Sugars: fructose, glucose
- Oxides: carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide
- Alloys: Devarda's alloy, Raney nickel, Na-Pb
- Amalgams: Zn-Hg, Na-Hg, Al-Hg
- Miscellaneous: palladium on carbon