# What is the oxidation state of each individual carbon atom in C2O4^(-2)?

Nov 6, 2015

Both are +3

#### Explanation:

The oxygen all have a -2 oxidation state. (peroxides are exceptions)

The chemical structure is symmetrical. Both carbon are equivalent.

2 (oxidation state of carbon) + 4 (oxidation state of oxygen) = charge of ion.

2 (oxidation state of carbon) + 4 (-2) = -2

oxidation state of carbon = +3

Nov 6, 2015

$+ 3$

#### Explanation:

The oxidation number of carbon atoms in ${C}_{2} {O}_{4}^{2 -}$ is the same for both atoms, it can be calculated as follows:

The oxidation number of oxygen is $- 2$, therefore, assuming that the oxidation number of $C$ is $x$, then: $2 x + 4 \times \left(- 2\right) = - 2 \implies 2 x = + 6 \implies x = + 3$

Therefore, the oxidation number of the carbon atom is $+ 3$.

Note that, the oxidation number of Oxygen is always $- 2$ except in ${H}_{2} {O}_{2}$ is $- 1$ and in $O {F}_{2}$ is $+ 2$.