Notation question

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Angel Gomez 1K
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Notation question

Postby Angel Gomez 1K » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:50 pm

given the balanced equation: NaN3 --> 3N2+2Na

Can someone explain how N is oxidized? The solution explains it in the screenshot I attached, but uses a notation I'm not familiar with. Explanation?
Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 5.49.51 PM.png

Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Notation question

Postby snehabhargava » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:46 pm

The nitrogen goes from an overall -1 charge to a zero charge.

Julian Krzysiak 2K
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: Notation question

Postby Julian Krzysiak 2K » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:48 pm

Apparently NaN3 is an ionic compound, so the Na and N3 are attracted by their difference in charges. Na has an oxidation state of +1, but with the N3, we have to figure out the overall charge of each nitrogen via formal charges. How they have it N=N=N, the outermost Nitrogens have a formal charge of -1, while the middle Nitrogen has a formal charge of +1, so overall, the molecule is -1, which matches with our Na+, forming the ionic compound. They don't include the 2Na, I assume because we weren't supposed to find out what was happening to Na. The 3N2 has an overall charge of 0, since has both Nitrogens with a formal charge of 0. Therefore, overall, the nitrogen goes from -1 to 0, meaning it has been oxidized.

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