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I was reading a text and came across the term. What does it mean? The sentence said 'The driving force of oxidative phosphorylation is the electron transfer potential of NADH or FADH2 relative to that of O2. '

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the electron transfer potential is based on the difference in the affinity of elements/molecules to bind electrons. the affinity of the element derives from it's components as shown in the elements table, just like all other characteristics. for example, oxygen has higher affinity to bind new electron than carbon. the affinity of the molecule derives from the atoms that build it, their electric potential and the connections between those atoms.

this potential between the two elements/molecules (lets say: NADH, O2, iron–sulfur clusters) holds energy that can start a reaction which will never start otherwise.

I have tried to keep it simple. for more reading about oxidation-reduction ( reactions involve the transfer of electrons between chemical species) read TERMODINAMICS AND CHEMICAL KINETICS p.255 as suggested by @Roland.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you add a reference? Happy to upvote then $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jan 22 '16 at 23:46
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    $\begingroup$ You should add the precise definition of electron transfer potential I think, as it's a relatively unusual term. Perhaps the best way is to describe it from the Nernst equation. Would suggest p.255 in this book: books.google.se/… $\endgroup$ – Roland Jan 23 '16 at 10:04

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