Oxidation Numbers- How to Find

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Andrew F 2L
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Oxidation Numbers- How to Find

Postby Andrew F 2L » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:15 pm

I am confused about how to find the oxidation numbers of anything. Is it necessary because I am able to balance my redox reactions without understanding the numbers behind it because the rules I have looked at to try to figure it out were very confusing. Could someone please help!

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Re: Oxidation Numbers- How to Find

Postby sbeall_1C » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:23 pm

There are certain oxidation numbers attached to certain elements, and these do not differ between reaction so you can use these known values to determine unknown ones, such as the oxidation numbers of transition metals which tend to vary according to the compound that they are present in. For example, Oxygen has a -2 oxidation number and Hydrogen at a +1. So in SO4^2-, the S would have an oxidation number of +6, because you have 4 O at -2 each, and an overall change of -2.

Caroline Zepecki
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Oxidation Numbers- How to Find

Postby Caroline Zepecki » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:25 pm

we only know the oxidation number for certain specific elements, but you can determine the oxidation numbers you know for the other elements using the ones you know combined with the final charge

Alice Chang 2H
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Oxidation Numbers- How to Find

Postby Alice Chang 2H » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:26 pm

For transition metals, use the oxidation numbers from other elements in the compound to find the oxidation number of the metal by subtracting from the overall charge on the compound.

That was a bad explanation but this website breaks it down really well: https://socratic.org/questions/how-do-you-calculate-the-oxidation-number-of-an-element-in-a-compound

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