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How does Cu2O act as both oxidant and reductant? Explain with proper reactions showing the change of oxidation numbers in each example.

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Cu2O undergoes disproportionation to form Cu2+ and Cu.

2Cu2+(aq) > Cu2+(aq) + Cu(s)

Thus, Cu2O acts both as an oxidant as well as a reductant.

(i) When heated in air, Cu2O is oxidized to CuO;

and Cu2O acts as a reductant and reduces O2 to O2-

(ii) When heated with Cu2S it oxidizes S2- to SO2 and hence Cu2O acts as an oxidants

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