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Homework Help: Nitrate oxidation state

  1. Mar 5, 2008 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2008 #2
    read this, http://http://www.chem.lsu.edu/lucid/allen/OxNumbers.htm" [Broken]

    Oxidation numbers are not determined by the number of bonds to the atom
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Apr 29, 2008 #3
    That link doesn't work for me and I am still wondering about this topic. Anybody else want to fill me in?
  5. Apr 29, 2008 #4


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  6. Apr 29, 2008 #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-)
  7. Apr 29, 2008 #6


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    Spirochete-Are you referring to the oxidation state of the nitrogen atom?
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