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Chemistry LibreTexts

Oxidation Number

[ "article:topic", "authorname:ggunawardena" ]
  • Page ID
    40812
  • The oxidation number or oxidation state of an atom in a molecule or a polyatomic ion is the charge it would bear if all its bonds to unlike atoms were ionic bonds.

    eg. 1:  Methane

     

     

     

    There are no bonds connecting like atoms in the methane molecule.
    electronegativity:   C > H

     

     

     

    eg. 2:  Acetaldehyde

     

     

     

    There is one bond connecting like atoms in the acetaldehyde molecule, the carbon-carbon bond.
    electronegativity:   O > C > H

     

     

     

    eg. 3:  Nitric acid

     

     

     

    There are no bonds connecting like atoms in the nitric acid molecule.
    electronegativity:   O > N > H
     

     

     

    eg. 4:  Periodate ion

     

     

     

    There are no bonds connecting like atoms in the periodate ion.
    electronegativity:   O > I

     

     

     

    see also oxidation, reduction