Oxidation numbers

oxidation number rules in order of precedent
1: For atoms in neutral compounds, the total of all oxidation numbers (ox#’s) is zero.

For polyatomic or isolated ions, the total ox# count = overall charge on the ion

2: All group 1 metals (Li, Na, K, …) have ox# = +1,

All group 2 metals (Be, Mg, …) have ox# = +2

3: fluorines in compounds have ox# = –1

4: hydrogens in compounds have ox# = +1
(exception: H bound to metal have ox# = –1)

5: oxygens usually have ox# = –2

6: In compounds with metals, group 7A elements have ox# = –1, group
6A elements have ox# = –2, and group 5A elements have ox# = –3.

oxidation number of atoms in neutral compounds
the total of all oxidation numbers (ox#’s) is zero
the oxidation number for polyatomic or isolated ions
For polyatomic or isolated ions, the total ox# count = overall charge on the ionexamples:total ox#(Fe2+) = +2,total ox#(CO2) = 0total ox#(CrO42-) = –2
oxidation number of group 1 metals
+1
oxidation number of group 2 metals
+2
oxidation number of fluorines in compounds
-1
oxidation number of hydrogens in compounds
hydrogens in compounds have ox# = +1
(exception: H bound to metal have ox# = –1)
when H has an oxidation number of -1
when bound to metal
the oxidation number of O
oxygens usually have ox# = –2
in metals, group 5A elements have an oxidation number of…
-3
in metals, group 6A elements have an oxidation number of…
-2
in metals, group 7A elements have an oxidation number of…
-1
maximum oxidation number of nonmetals
Group Number (old system)
Group Number – 10 (new system)
minimum oxidation number of nonmetals
Group Number – 8 (old system)
Group Number – 18 (new system)
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