- The complete, net removal of one or more electrons from a @[email protected] (also called '@[email protected]').
- An increase in the @[email protected] of any atom within any @[email protected]
- Gain of oxygen and/or loss of hydrogen of an organic substrate.
All oxidations meet criteria 1 and 2, and many meet criterion 3, but this is not always easy to demonstrate. Alternatively, an oxidation can be described as a @[email protected] of an organic substrate that can be rationally dissected into steps or @[email protected] The latter consist in removal of one or several electrons from the substrate followed or preceded by gain or loss of water and/or @[email protected] or hydroxide ions, or by @[email protected] substitution by water or its reverse and/or by an @[email protected] @[email protected] This formal definition allows the original idea of oxidation (combination with oxygen), together with its extension to removal of hydrogen, as well as processes closely akin to this type of @[email protected] transformation (and generally regarded in current usage of the term in organic chemistry to be oxidations and to be effected by 'oxidizing agents') to be descriptively related to definition 1. For example the oxidation of methane to chloromethane may be considered as follows: