How Do You Assign Oxidation Numbers

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Oxygen has an oxidation state of -2 according to rule 5.

Chlorine is a Group VIIA halogen and usually has an oxidation state of -1.

In oxidation-reduction processes, the driving force for chemical change is in the exchange of electrons between chemical species. Example 22.6.1 What is the oxidation number for manganese in the compound potassium permanganate \(\left( \ce \right)\)?

Solution: The oxidation number for \(\ce\) is \( 1\) (rule 2) The oxidation number for \(\ce\) is \(-2\) (rule 2) Since this is a compound (there is no charge indicated on the molecule), the net charge on the molecule is zero (rule 6) So we have \[\begin 1 \ce 4 \left( -2 \right) &= 0 \\ \ce - 7 &= 0 \\ \ce &= 7 \end\] When dealing with oxidation numbers, we must always include the charge on the atom.

Another way to determine the oxidation number of \(\ce\) in this compound is to recall that the permanganate anion \(\left( \ce \right)\) has a charge of \(-1\).

In this case: \[\begin \ce 4 \left( -2 \right) &= -1 \ \ce - 8 &= -1 \ \ce &= 7 \end\] Example 22.6.2 What is the oxidation number for iron in \(\ce\)?

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Electrochemical reactions involve the transfer of electrons.

Not bad for a gentleman who started college planning on being a lawyer.

The oxidation number is a positive or negative number that is assigned to an atom to indicate its degree of oxidation or reduction.

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