Problem: Determine the oxidation state for each of the following.1) N22) Pb2+3) C in CH44) Fe in Fe2O35) Ag in Ag2O

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We are asked to determine the oxidation state for each of the following.

A. General Rules:

1. For an atom in its elemental form (Zn, Cl2, C(graphite), etc.)    O.S. = 0

2. For an ion (Li+, Al3+, etc.)                                                       O.S. = charge


B. Specific Rules:

1. Group 1A              O.S. = +1

2. Group 2A              O.S. = +2

3. Hydrogen              O.S. = +1, with nonmetals

                                  O.S. = –1 with metals and boron

4. Fluorine                 O.S. = –1

5. Oxygen                  O.S. = –1 in peroxides (X2O2, X = Group 1A)

                                  O.S. = –1/2 in superoxides (XO2, X = Group 1A)

                                  O.S. = –2 in other compounds

6. Group 7A               O.S. = –1 (except when bonded to O)


1) N2

  •  elemental form → O.S. = 0


The oxidation state of N2 is 0


2) Pb2+

  •  ion → O.S. = 2+

The oxidation state of Pb2+ is 2+


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Problem Details

Determine the oxidation state for each of the following.

1) N2

2) Pb2+

3) C in CH4

4) Fe in Fe2O3

5) Ag in Ag2O

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