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Multiple valences

  1. Aug 17, 2011 #1
    I found a list of all the possible valences of all elements online, but say were dealign with a compound with iron, has multiple valences, how do i know which valence to use when?

    this has been bugging me for quite some time, any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is no simple answer to that. For example, iron has (at least) three oxides, FeO, Fe2O3 and Fe3O4. Each is stable in different situations, each contains iron atoms in different oxidation states. Which, when and why - that's what the whole chemistry is about.
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