Difference Between Oxygenation and Oxidation l Oxygenation vs Oxidation


The key difference between oxygenation and oxidation is that the oxygenation essentially involves molecular oxygen whereas the oxidation does not necessarily involve oxygen.

Though both terms oxygenation and oxidation sound similar, they are two distinct terms. This is because the process of oxygenation requires the presence of oxygen, but the process of oxidation can occur in the complete absence of oxygen.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Oxygenation
3. What is Oxidation
4. Side by Side Comparison – Oxygenation vs Oxidation in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What is Oxygenation?

Oxygenation is the addition of molecular oxygen to any system. For example, the process of treating a patient with oxygen also refers to the oxygenation. In chemistry, we use this term mainly to indicate the addition of molecular oxygen to a chemical species such as transition metals in the formation of coordination compounds.

Difference Between Oxygenation and Oxidation l Oxygenation vs Oxidation

Figure 01: Giving oxygen to a patient may refer to Oxygenation

In these coordination complexes, molecular oxygen acts as a ligand that bonds with a transition metal. Most of the times, these complexes form reversibly. That means; we can remove the molecular oxygen from the complex if we change the reaction conditions.

What is Oxidation?

Oxidation is the process of increasing the oxidation number of chemical species. However, there are three distinct definitions for this term; the addition of oxygen, removal of hydrogen or loss of electrons means oxidation. But, all these definitions have exceptions on different occasions. Thus, we use the above definition as a general definition for all occasions.

Difference Between Oxygenation and Oxidation l Oxygenation vs Oxidation

Figure 02: A Redox Reaction

Oxidation is a type of redox reaction. A redox reaction essentially has two parallel reactions; oxidation reactions and reduction reactions. These reactions always involve the electron transfer between two chemical species. Also, the chemical species that undergoes oxidation will always release electrons while the chemical species which undergoes reduction will always obtain those electrons. Therefore, releasing electrons makes more protons that have no electrons to neutralize their charge. Thus, the electron removal will increase the oxidation number of the chemical species.

What is the Difference Between Oxygenation and Oxidation?

Oxygenation is the addition of molecular oxygen to any system whereas Oxidation is the process of increasing the oxidation number of a chemical species. Therefore, the key difference between oxygenation and oxidation is that the oxygenation essentially involves molecular oxygen whereas oxidation does not necessarily involve oxygen. Moreover, we use the term oxygenation to refer to the addition of molecular oxygen to a chemical species such as transition metal or treating a patient with oxygen while the term oxidation refers to increase of the oxidation number of a chemical species.

The below infographic tabulates the difference between oxygenation and oxidation as a side be side comparison.

Difference Between Oxygenation and Oxidation l Oxygenation vs Oxidation

Summary – Oxygenation vs Oxidation

Both terms oxygenation and oxidation may refer to the addition of oxygen, but not always. Moreover, the term oxidation sometimes refers to processes which occur in the complete absence of oxygen. Therefore, the key difference between oxygenation and oxidation is that the oxygenation essentially involves molecular oxygen whereas the oxidation does not necessarily involve oxygen.

Reference:

1. Nabili, Siamak N. “What Is Polycythemia Vera? Symptoms, Life Expectancy, Treatment & Causes.” MedicineNet. Available here  
2. “Redox.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Oct. 2018. Available here

Image Courtesy:

1.”2000916137″ by Airman st Class Anania TekurioReleased (CC0) via ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE
2.”NAD oxidation reduction”By Fvasconcellos (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

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