jadajada
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Can someone please help explain how to approach this sort of question in terms of how they come up with the two equations??? Am I missing something, I'm finding memorising colours of transition metals more easier than this. The q is from the June 2013 paper:

8 This question explores some reactions and some uses of cobalt compounds.
8 (a) Ethanal is oxidised to ethanoic acid by oxygen. The equation for this reaction is
2CH3CHO + O2 → 2CH3COOH
This redox reaction is slow at room temperature but speeds up in the presence of
cobalt compounds.
Explain why a cobalt compound is able to act as a catalyst for this process.
Illustrate your explanation with two equations to suggest how, in the presence of water
and hydrogen ions, Co3+ and then Co2+ ions could be involved in catalysing this
reaction.

Any help is appreciated!!!
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