# What is the charge of iron in the iron oxide compound, Fe_2O_3?

$3 +$
Iron(III) oxide is a neutral compound, which implies the net charge of the compound equals $0$; i.e. the charges of all the atoms must add up to $0$. Oxygen in nearly all cases has a charge of $2 -$ (except for a few compounds such as potassium superoxide, $K {O}_{2}$), so the total ionic charge the $O$ atoms exhibit is $3 \left(- 2\right) = - 6$. If two $F e$ atoms equalize this charge and make it neutral, the charge (oxidation state) of $F e$ in this compound must be $3 +$.