What are the oxidation states of carbon in cyanide and isocyanide?

2 Answers
Aug 3, 2017

Answer:

It is the same

Explanation:

The oxidation state of carbon in #HCN# #HNC# is the same i.e +4

Aug 3, 2017

In #"H"-"C"-="N"#, we have oxidation states corresponding to

#stackrel(color(blue)(+1))("H"^(+))#

and

#[:stackrel(color(blue)(+2))("C")-=stackrel(color(blue)(-3))("N"):]^(-)#.

In #"H"-"N"-="C"#, we have oxidation states corresponding to

#stackrel(color(blue)(+1))("H"^(+))#

and

#[: stackrel(color(blue)(-3))("N")-=stackrel(color(blue)(+2))("C"):]^(-)#.

Either way, we assume full electron transfer to the more electronegative atom, and thus bonding direction doesn't matter.