What are oxidation states in elements?
The oxidation state of an ELEMENT is
The oxidation state of an atom in a compound is the charge left on the atom when all the bonding pairs are broken, and the charged devolved to the most electronegative atom.
Given this, an element usually has a
We could start with a simple combustion rxn:
In the product, the oxidation state of
Metals provide a particularly rich redox chemistry. We would represent the oxidation of Fe to ferric ion as:
Of course the electrons must go somewhere, and they typically reduce oxygen to give iron oxides, rust, the bane of structural engineers.