What is the oxidation number of Carbon in #Na_2C_2O_4#?

1 Answer
Jun 23, 2016

Answer:

Each carbon in oxalate ion has an oxidation number of #+III#.

Explanation:

The sum of the oxidation numbers of the constituent atoms equals the charge on the ion. Oxygen normally has an oxidation number of #-II# in its compounds, and it certainly does here.

Thus #2xxC_"Oxidation number"+4xx(-2)=-2# (Of course, #-2# was the charge on the ion.) It does not take too much algebra to determine that #C_"Oxidation number"=+III#. Carbon here is almost fully oxidized.