What is the oxidation number of nitrogen in #N_2O_5#?

1 Answer
Oct 22, 2016

Answer:

#+5#

Explanation:

Two things come in handy here

  • for a neutral compound, the sum of the oxidation numbers of all constituent atoms must be equal to zero
  • the oxidation number of oxygen is usually equal to #-2#

This means that if you take #?# to be the oxidation number of nitrogen in dinitrogen pentoxide, #"N"_color(blue)(2)"O"_color(red)(5)#, you can say that

#color(blue)(2) xx ? + color(red)(5) xx (-2) = 0#

All you have to do now is solve for #?# to find

#color(blue)(2) xx ? = +10 implies ? = (+10)/2 = +5#

And there you have it, nitrogen has a #+5# oxidation number in dinitrogen pentoxide.