What is the oxidation number of #AgNO_3#?

1 Answer
Aug 1, 2016

Answer:

Well, we break up the compound into its ions, and then into its atoms, and assign the elemental oxidation numbers.

Explanation:

Silver nitrate is composed of #NO_3^-# and #Ag^+"# ions. Clearly, #Ag^+# has a #+I# oxidation state. Why "clearly"?

For the gegenion, #NO_3^-#, the sum of the oxidation numbers equals the charge on the ion:

i.e. #N_"Oxidation number"+3xxO_"Oxidation number"=-1#.

The oxidation number of #O# is usually #-II# and it is here. And thus #N_"oxidation number"=+V#. Note that here nitrogen assumes its maximum oxidation number, the Group oxidation number #+V#. Nitrates are highly oxidizing species, though often its oxidizing potential is masked in aqueous solution.