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separate this redox reaction into its component half-reactions.

O2 + 4Cu-->2CuO

Oxidation half-reaction: ?
Reduction half-reaction: ?

I believe that the Oxidation is copper and that reduction is oxygen. So I tried to write it as

4Cu^+ --> 4Cu + 4e^-
O2^2- +4e^- ---> 2O

but it is wrong and I don't understand why. Please help.

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2 answers

  1. The half reactions are
    Cu(s) ==> Cu^2+ + 2e (you had 1+ for Cu)
    O2(g) + 4e ==> 2O^2- (you can see how this differs from what you had).
    The Cu is the oxidation half; O2 is the reduction half.

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  2. Cu -> Cu+ + e-

    O2 + 4e- -> 2O-2

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