What is the oxidation state of an individual nitrogen atom in NH2OH?
Oxidation states are important for keeping track of electrons in oxidation-reduction reactions. Here are some general rules to remember:
Elements not covered: the sum of the charges of all elements must equal the charge on the species. Thus, follow the rules in the fourth and fifth bullet points first, and deduce the oxidation state once all others have been assigned.
In a neutral compound, the sum of the oxidation states is zero. Note that the sign of the oxidation states and the number of atoms associated with each oxidation state must be considered. In H2O, for example, each hydrogen atom has an oxidation state of +1 and each oxygen atom has an oxidation state of − 2 for a total of 2( + 1) + ( − 2) = 0.
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