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Reactive Group Datasheet

Oxidizing Agents, Strong

Flammability
Materials in this group technically do not burn, but some form of oxidizer is necessary for a combustion reaction to occur, and strong oxidizing agents can initiate or accelerate the combustion of other materials. This action makes fires more dangerous and could lead to explosions. In fact, members of this group are often included in explosive mixtures.
Reactivity
Strong oxidizing agents often react vigorously with other compounds, generating heat and possibly gaseous products, which can pressurize a closed container, and which may go on to participate in further reactions. An example of a commonly-known oxidation-reduction (or redox) reaction is combustion. When gasoline is burned in a car engine, the oxygen in the air is acting as an oxidizing agent and the gasoline is acting as a (very weak) reducing agent. Once this reaction is initiated by a spark from the ignition, it generates heat and also generates many products including hot gases, causing pressurization of the internal combustion chamber which pushes the piston. Organic compounds in general have some reducing power and can in principle react with compounds in this class. Actual reactivity varies greatly with the identity of the organic compound.

Reactions of strong oxidizing agents with compounds that are known reducing agents are often explosive. However, potentially explosive mixtures of oxidizing agents and reducing agents can persist unchanged for long periods if disturbances (heat, spark, catalyst, mechanical shock) are prevented. Gunpowder is such a mixture. Another, more dangerous class of explosives are those where the oxidizing agent and reducing agent are actually different parts of the same compound. These compounds are generally much more sensitive than mixtures of separate oxidizing and reducing agents and may be used as detonators or primary explosives.

Strong oxidizing agents can react energetically with active metals, cyanides, esters, and thiocyanates. Other examples include the mixture of sugar (an organic compound) with sodium chlorate, or magnesium (an inorganic reducing agent) with barium peroxide.
Toxicity
Most are toxic by ingestion; degree varies widely. Additionally, gaseous or liquid oxidizers can cause chemical burns if inhaled or if they come into contact with skin.
Other Characteristics
An oxidizing agent is a substance that usually reacts by removing electrons from other substances, a process known as oxidation. The opposite process (addition of electrons to a compound) is known as reduction and always occurs simultaneously with oxidation. The overall reaction is termed an oxidation-reduction, or "redox", reaction.

There is a wide range of possible oxidizing strengths, and this reactivity group is intended to cover those oxidizers that are as strong or stronger than oxygen under ambient conditions. Some materials become stronger oxidizing agents in the presence of acid and may be included here, but oxidizing acids are separated into a different group (Acids, Strong Oxidizing). Compounds that contain both an oxidizing component and a reducing component (such compounds are often explosives) are classified in both an Oxidizing Agent reactive group and a Reducing Agent reactive group.
Examples
Ammonium dichromate, ammonium perchlorate, ammonium permanganate, barium bromate, barium chlorate, barium peroxide, cadmium chlorate, calcium chromate, calcium perchlorate, chlorine, oxygen, fluorine.