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What is Oxidization?


Oxidation or Oxidization

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance is exposed to oxygen.  During the process its chemical composition changes.

The words oxidisation and oxidation are often used interchangeably.  They both mean pretty much the same thing.

The process can be seen when an apple is peeled but not eaten.  Oxidation takes place in many foods when exposed to oxygen.  The reaction causes their chemical composition to break down.  Antioxidants which can be natural or man-made slow down the process or prevent it from happening.

As food oxidizes it loses its nutritional value. 

In minerals oxidation takes place through weathering.  Weathering is a process that changes the landscape of Earth.  It slowly breaks down rocks and minerals through natural elements.  These can be water, ice, acids, salts, plants, animals and changes in temperature.

Oxygen slowly destroys old compounds. Oxide minerals are produced when iron combines with oxygen. When minerals oxidize they become less resistant to weathering. 

The distinctive black markings in rhodonite are caused through the oxidation of manganese oxides that form as a crust on the surface of the stone.

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