Last Updated: January 23, 2017

Definition - What does Oxidation mean?

Oxidation is a loss of electrons by an atom, molecule, or ion during a reaction. Oxidation is the primary cause of the biological decomposition process as microorganisms break down organic matter.

Biological oxidation occurs regularly during the decomposition of organic matter. The breaking down by microorganisms into a compost or humus material is the oxidation of that organic matter.

MaximumYield explains Oxidation

Oxidation occurs in fields and forests as fallen leaves, stems, and trees begin to oxidize and decompose.

Oxidation is also a central part of wastewater treatment facilities, where the sludge is moved into holding ponds or containers and activated with microorganisms. It can also occur naturally in water as organic matter rots and releases gases back into the atmosphere.

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