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why is it necessary for oxidation and reduction reactions to occur as paired reactions?

why is it necessary for oxidation and reduction reactions to occur as paired reactions?

I don't understand this. :S Grr

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It has to do with the first law of thermodynamics. In a chemical reaction, nothing is created or destroyed, substances just change conformations. In order for there to be a reduction, a gain of an electron, there must also be an oxidation, a loss of an electron. If substance A gain an electron, that electron must come from something else. Another substance, B, must be losing an electron or A would have nothing to gain.