Is the Oxidation State of Nitrate Really +5 or +4?

In summary, the oxidation state of nitrate (NO3-) is +5 because the negative charge is on the oxygen atom, giving it 5 bonds to oxygen. This is different from the molecular form of nitric acid, where the nitrogen atom has 4 bonds to oxygen. The link provided explains this concept further.
  • #1
Spirochete
127
0
Why does nitrate (NO3-) have an oxidation state of +5? Doesn't it have 4 bonds to oxygen? Shouldn't that give it an oxidation state of +4?
 
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  • #2
read this, http://http://www.chem.lsu.edu/lucid/allen/OxNumbers.htm"

Oxidation numbers are not determined by the number of bonds to the atom
 
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  • #3
That link doesn't work for me and I am still wondering about this topic. Anybody else want to fill me in?
 
  • #5
In NO3-, the negative charge is on the oxygen. in molecular form, it would have been nitric acid, HNO3. there is an N-O-H bond, a N=O bond and a N<=O bond (dative).

In NO3-, the N-O-H bond becomes N-O^-

it has 5 'bonds' to oxygen. (1 double bond, 1 dative double bond and 1 single bond with O-)
 
  • #6
Spirochete-Are you referring to the oxidation state of the nitrogen atom?
 

Related to Is the Oxidation State of Nitrate Really +5 or +4?

1. What is the definition of nitrate oxidation state?

Nitrate oxidation state refers to the formal charge of a nitrate ion (NO3-) in a chemical compound. It indicates the number of electrons that have been lost or gained by the nitrate ion in order to achieve a stable configuration.

2. How is nitrate oxidation state determined?

Nitrate oxidation state is determined by the number of oxygen atoms bonded to the central nitrogen atom. If there are three oxygen atoms, the oxidation state is +5. If there are two oxygen atoms, the oxidation state is +4. If there is only one oxygen atom, the oxidation state is +3.

3. What are the implications of different nitrate oxidation states?

The oxidation state of nitrate can affect its reactivity and solubility. Higher oxidation states (such as +5) make nitrate more reactive and water soluble, while lower oxidation states (such as +3) make it less reactive and less soluble.

4. How does nitrate oxidation state affect the environment?

Nitrate is an important source of nitrogen for plants and is commonly used as a fertilizer. However, excessive amounts of nitrate in the environment can lead to eutrophication, which can harm aquatic ecosystems. The oxidation state of nitrate can also influence its transformation and transport in the environment.

5. Can nitrate oxidation state be changed?

Yes, nitrate oxidation state can be altered through chemical reactions. For example, nitrate can be reduced to lower oxidation states by bacteria in the soil, which can convert it into forms that are more easily taken up by plants. However, these reactions are complex and can be affected by various environmental factors.

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