Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Oxidation reaction

  1. Dec 23, 2014 #1
    Is it right to say sulfur dioxide is oxidized to sulfuric acid? SO2 is converted into H2SO4, hydrogen is added so it should be reduction rather than oxidation.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2014 #2

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think I have ever heard about a method of producing sulfuric acid that uses hydrogen, can you elaborate?
     
  4. Dec 23, 2014 #3
    I meant previously it was SO2(no hydrogen atom) and then it became H2SO4 (two hydrogen atoms)so it should be reduction why it is written in my textbook that SO2 is oxidised when it get converted into H2SO4?
     
  5. Dec 23, 2014 #4

    Bystander

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Formal oxidation states for oxygen are always -2. Minus eight for oxygen, plus two for two hydrogens, leaves plus six for sulfur. Compare that to plus four for sulfur in sulfur dioxide, and the sulfur has been further oxidized.
     
  6. Dec 23, 2014 #5

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Why do you ignore two added oxygen atoms?
     
  7. Dec 23, 2014 #6
    Ok.So two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atom ,so tie then why oxidation not reduction?
     
  8. Dec 23, 2014 #7
    So we should say sulfur is oxidized rather than SO2 is oxidized.
     
  9. Dec 23, 2014 #8

    Bystander

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    The starting state is sulfur dioxide, and it has been further oxidized.
     
  10. Dec 23, 2014 #9

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Why do you assume effect of a single oxygen atom is identical to effect of single hydrogen atom? Oxygen accepts two electrons, hydrogen donates one.
     
  11. Dec 23, 2014 #10
    OK I understood.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook