What are the symbols with oxidation numbers for sulfuric acid? What is the formula?

1 Answer
Dec 5, 2016

Answer:

I can only assume what you are trying to ask in your question, but sulfur has an oxidation number of #8#, oxygen has an oxidation number of #-2# and hydrogen has an oxidation number of #1#.

Explanation:

In sulfuric acid, the molecular formula is #"H"_2"SO"_4#. Oxygen almost always has an oxidation number of #-2#, so #4# oxygen atoms means the charge is #8-#. Sulfur, in this case, has an oxidation number of #+6#, which means that #"SO"_4# ion has an overall charge of #2-#. Thus we need to hydrogen atoms to balance the charges.

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As you can see, sulfur has donated six electrons, each oxygen atom has accepted two electrons and each hydrogen atom has donated one electron.