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Oxidation_numbers[1] - Rules for Assigning Oxidation...

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Rules for Assigning Oxidation Numbers As a general rule in assigning oxidation numbers, shared electrons are assumed to belong to the more-electronegative atom in each bond. More specific rules for determining oxidation numbers are provided by the following guidelines. 1. The atoms in a pure element have an oxidation number of zero. For example, the 2 4 8 atoms of pure sodium, Na, oxygen, O , phosphorus, P and sulfur, S , all have oxidation numbers of zero. 2. The more-electronegative element in a binary molecular compound is assigned the number equal to the negative charge it would have as an anion. The less- electronegative atom is assigned the number equal to the positive charge it would have as a cation. 3. Fluorine has an oxidation number of -1 in all of its compounds because it is the most electronegative element. 4. Oxygen has an oxidation number of -2 in almost all compounds. Exceptions include 2 2 when it is in peroxides, such as H O , in which its oxidation number is -1, and when
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