Document Type


Publication Date





Redox reactions are important in both theoretical studies and practical uses. The concept is also one of the most difficult to teach and learn (Goes, Nogueira & Fernandez, 2020). In general chemistry textbooks, the oxidation number method is a fundamental approach for counting the number of transferred electrons and understanding redox reactions (Tro, 2020; Chang & Goldsby, 2013). Without knowing oxidation number, redox reactions cannot be defined and balanced. Algebraic methods, such as linear simultaneous equations method (Porter, 1985; Olson, 1997; Kolb, 1979) and matrix method (Blakley, 1982; Risteski, 2011), can balance redox reactions, but they cannot define them chemically. The relationships among oxidation number, transferred electrons, and electrical charge, can also be confusing for students (Garnett & Treagust, 1992; Brandriet & Bretz, 2014). In response to the limitations of the oxidation number method and the algebraic methods, the electrical charge method for balancing and defining redox reaction is developed in this article. This method does not require calculation of oxidation number nor use of electron. It only requires balancing of atoms and electrical charges by using two half reactions in a redox reaction. The key parameter is electrical charge, which acts as a concept to balance, quantify, and define redox reactions. By using simple arithmetic operations, the electrical charge method is appliable for balancing both ionic and molecular chemical equations.