Chapter 4. Balancing Oxidation Reduction Reactions Van Koppen Chem. 1A F05 Simple Conventions to Assign Oxidation States:1) The oxidation numbers of the atoms in a neutral molecule must add up to zero, and those in an ion must add up to the charge on the ion. All elements have oxidation states of zero (e.g. Na(s), O2(g), H2(g), Cl2(g), etc.) 2) Alkali metal atoms(Group I) have oxidation number +1 in their compounds, and alkaline earth atoms(Group II) have oxidation number +2 in their compounds. 3) Fluorinealways has an oxidation number of –1 in its compounds, and other halogenshave an oxidation number –1 in their compounds except in compounds with oxygen and with other halogens, where they can have positive oxidation numbers. ClO–NaCl SF6 (Each fluorine in SF6 is assigned an oxidation state of –1.) + 1 – 2 + 1 – 1 + 6 – 1 4) Hydrogenis assigned an oxidation number of +1 in its compounds, except metal hydrides such as LiH where convention 2 takes precedence and hydrogen has an oxidation number –1.
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