Science, Tech, Math › Science Oxidant Definition in Chemistry Share Flipboard Email Print GIPhotoStock / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated November 04, 2019 An oxidant is a reactant that oxidizes or removes electrons from other reactants during a redox reaction. An oxidant may also be called an oxidizer or oxidizing agent. When the oxidant includes oxygen, it may be called an oxygenation reagent or oxygen-atom transfer (OT) agent. How Oxidants Work An oxidant is a chemical species that removes one or more electrons from another reactant in a chemical reaction. In this context, any oxidizing agent in a redox reaction may be considered an oxidant. Here, the oxidant is the electron receptor, while the reducing agent is the electron donor. Some oxidants transfer electronegative atoms to a substrate. Usually, the electronegative atom is oxygen, but it can be another electronegative element or ion. Oxidant Examples While an oxidant technically doesn't require oxygen to remove electrons, most common oxidizers do contain the element. The halogens are an example of oxidants that don't contain oxygen. Oxidants participate in combustion, organic redox reactions, and more explosives. Examples of oxidants include: hydrogen peroxideozonenitric acidsulfuric acidoxygensodium perboratenitrous oxidepotassium nitratesodium bismuthatehypochlorite and household bleachhalogens such as Cl2 and F2 Oxidants As Dangerous Substances An oxidizing agent that can cause or aid combustion is considered a dangerous material. Not every oxidant is hazardous in this manner. For example, potassium dichromate is an oxidant, yet is not considered a dangerous substance in terms of transport. Oxidizing chemicals which are deemed hazardous are marked with a specific hazard symbol. The symbol features a ball and flames. Sources Connelly, N.G.; Geiger, W.E. (1996). "Chemical Redox Agents for Organometallic Chemistry." Chemical Reviews. 96 (2): 877–910. doi:10.1021/cr940053xSmith, Michael B.; March, Jerry (2007). Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure (6th ed.). New York: Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1.