Segments in this Video

Metallic World (01:17)


Transition metals can exist as charged ions, and are used in redox reactions in the body or in batteries. Oxidation is the loss of electrons and reduction is the gain of electrons.

Powered by Redox (02:32)

Researchers develop PR2 robots to assist disabled people. "Archie" runs on batteries through oxidation reduction, involving the transfer of electrons. View a redox reaction of zinc metal and copper sulfate.

Redox: Creating an Electric Current (02:54)

Batteries use half reactions to convert a redox reaction to electricity. Zinc metal and copper sulfate are separated for electron transfer with a salt bridge to balance the zinc and copper solutions. A voltmeter reveals electron flow pressure.

Vitamin B12 (03:39)

Hear how redox reactions are used in the body. B12 contains the trace metal cobalt, which exists in three different oxidation states. Researchers study protein crystals containing B12 in anaerobic chambers to avoid oxidation. X-ray crystallography reveals electron density.

Cobalt Redox Reactions (04:08)

B12 cobalt oxidation state can be determined by color. Cobalt +1 is important for converting folic acid into forms used in the body. Cobalt +3 reacts with homocysteine to produce methionine for protein production. High homocysteine levels correlate with heart disease.

Folic Acid in Fetal Development (02:59)

Research shows vitamin B9 is crucial for cell formation and can reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Since 1999, the U.S. government has fortified grains with folic acid to reduce defects in unplanned pregnancies.

Folic Acid Redox Reaction (03:18)

Folic acid reacts with cobalt +1 in B12 to generate methionine, essential for spinal column formation. Flavodoxin converts dietary cobalt +2 to react with folate. These processes help prevent birth defects.

Non-Spontaneous Redox Reaction (02:17)

View a demonstration of energy added to iron and zinc metals in a zinc solution. The iron screw gains electrons in a process called galvanization.

Hair, Highlights and Redox (02:35)

Hydrogen peroxide bleaches hair by changing the melanin oxidation state. Black hair absorbs the color spectrum, while white hair reflects the color spectrum. Blonde hair absorbs violet light.

Credits: The Metallic World: Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions (00:28)

Credits: The Metallic World: Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

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The Metallic World: Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

Part of the Series : Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



Metals allow the transfer of electrons through a process called oxidation-reduction, or "redox," when one species gains electrons while another loses them. Chemists use electron transfers to power the batteries in our flashlights, phones, or cars. In biochemistry trace metals, such as cobalt in Vitamin B12, often drive essential chemical reactions for human health. Redox reactions also occur without metals, as in lightening hair color.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL110258

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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