Chemistry

Difference between Corrosion and Oxidation

Main difference

The main difference between corrosion and rust is that corrosion generally occurs on metal surfaces while rust occurs everywhere.

Corrosion vs. Oxidation

When an object is exposed to the external environment, it is destroyed due to different processes that take place on its surface, which is known as corrosion. On the other hand, oxidation is the process of electron loss by an atom, molecule or ion etc. during a reaction.

So, corrosion is a kind of oxidation. It takes place mainly on metal surfaces. On the other hand, oxidation occurs everywhere. Corrosion occurs in the presence of oxygen. On the other hand, oxygen is not essential for oxidation. It can also occur in the absence of oxygen.

Corrosion is a type of irreversible process. It cannot be restored once it has occurred. On the other hand, oxidation is half of complete redox reactions. Corrosion is a damaging process. It causes the destruction of material that is in direct contact with the external environment, for example, iron oxidation, etc. On the other hand, the oxidation process is beneficial. Provides help in different laboratory processes.

Comparison chart

Corrosion Oxidation
The destruction of a material, when exposed to the external environment due to different reactions taking place on its surface, is known as corrosion. The process of loss of electrons by an atom, molecule, or ion, etc. is known as oxidation.
Presence of Oxygen
It takes place in the presence of oxygen. Oxygen is not essential; it can also occur in the absence of oxygen.
Idea
It takes place mainly on metal surfaces. Oxidation happens everywhere.
Process
It occurs when the surface of a metal or metal atoms oxidize in the presence of water and oxygen. It is the process of loss of electrons by an atom, molecule or ion, etc. during a reaction.
Process type
Corrosion is a type of irreversible process. Oxidation is half of complete redox reactions.
Impact
It is a harmful process that causes the destruction of material that is in direct contact with the external environment. For example, rusting of iron, etc. This process is advantageous. Provides help in different laboratory processes.
What is corrosion ?

Corrosion is known as a natural process that causes degradation of the properties of an object or material, i.e. appearance, structure, resistance and permeability, etc. It is a type of oxidation. It occurs when the surface of a metal or metal atoms oxidize in the presence of water and oxygen. It takes place due to different chemical reactions that occur between the components of the air and the surface of the material.

Corrosion occurs primarily on metallic surfaces, but can also occur on non-metallic surfaces. Its most common example is oxidation. Change the color and quality of the steel. Therefore, there are different varieties of steel that are used to save the metal from corrosion by changing its chemical composition. On the other hand, dashboard and skin are the two examples of non-metallic surfaces that face corrosion. If some corrosive chemicals are added on these surfaces, they will destroy the surface. Examples of such chemicals are strong acids and strong bases.

Metal corrosion is also called metallic oxidation. This is because, in this process, the atoms on the metal surface are oxidized by the oxygen present in the air in the presence of water, for example, during the corrosion of iron, the Fe + 2 in steel is oxidized to Fe + 3 . There are different factors that control the rate of corrosion such as the metal surface that is open to the air and the humidity of the air, etc.

Corrosion can be prevented in different ways, for example by environmental modification, the use of paints, the use of corrosion inhibitors, i.e. chemicals that are used to inhibit corrosion by preventing rust, galvanizing, i.e. zinc coating to prevent rust and by electroplating, etc.

What is oxidation ?

Oxidation is the process that involves the loss of electrons by an atom, molecule, or ion, etc. during a reaction. Oxygen is not vital for oxidation. It can also occur in the absence of oxygen. Since a neutral atom is made up of an equal number of protons and electrons, the loss of electrons will give the atom a positive charge. The oxidation state is known as oxidation state. When oxidation occurs in an atom, its oxidation state increases positively. The opposite of oxidation is known as reduction.

The oxidation and reduction reaction takes place at the same time and is collectively known as the redox reaction. So oxidation is half of full redox reactions. It releases the electrons which are then used by the reduction reaction. Compounds that oxidize other compounds are called oxidizing agents. On the other hand, compounds that are oxidized are called reducing agents.

Oxidation is a beneficial process. Provides help in different laboratory processes. In addition, it helps living tissues in many ways, such as weight loss, stimulates metabolism, and reduces the risk of cancer, etc. But it is dangerous for metals where it causes oxidation.

Key differences

  1. The destruction of a material when it is exposed to the external environment due to different reactions that take place on its surface is known as corrosion, while the process of loss of electrons by an atom, molecule, ion, etc. is known as oxidation.
  2. Corrosion occurs in the presence of oxygen. On the other hand, oxygen is not essential for oxidation. It can also occur in the absence of oxygen.
  3. Corrosion occurs mainly on metal surfaces. On the contrary, oxidation takes place everywhere.
  4. Corrosion occurs when the surface of a metal or metal atoms oxidize in the presence of water and oxygen. On the other hand, oxidation is the process of electron loss by an atom, molecule or ion etc. during a reaction.
  5. Corrosion is a type of irreversible process. On the other hand, oxidation is half of complete redox reactions.
  6. Corrosion is a harmful process that causes the destruction of material that is in direct contact with the external environment. For example, rusting of iron, etc. On the other hand, the oxidation process is beneficial. Provides help in different laboratory processes.
Final Thoughts

The above discussion summarizes that corrosion is a process that destroys a material when it is exposed to an external environment due to different reactions that take place on its surface. On the other hand, oxidation is the process of electron loss by an atom, molecule, or ion, etc. which can be both harmful and beneficial.

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