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Oxidation is the reaction of a material with oxygen. Some common forms of oxidation is the tarnishing of silverware and the rusting of iron, along with the burming of hydrocarbons to produce water, carbon dioxide, some partially oxidized forms and heat energy.

The term is also used more generally by chemists to refer to electrochemistry processes in which the formal oxidation state of an atom or atoms (within a molecule) is increased by the removal of electrons.

Complete oxidation of materials containing carbon produces carbon dioxide, which is a infrared adsorber and linked to global warming.

In organic chemistry, stepwise oxidation of a hydrocarbon produces water and, successively, an alcohol, an aldehyde or a ketone, carboxylic acid, and then a peroxide.

In inorganic chemistry terms, incompletely oxidized carbon takes the form of carbonate, bicarbonate or carbon monoxide.