Oxidization C2H5OH -> CO2

  • Thread starter Integral0
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Main Question or Discussion Point

C2H5OH -> CO2

"Carbon is oxidized from an oxidation state of -2 in C2H5OH to +4 in CO2"

Don't the rules for oxidation states say that a monatomic ion is the same as its charge, therefore, C cannot be -2 because -4 (C) + 5 (H) + -1 (OH) yields 0 as a charge?
 
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  • #2
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RE

Because molecules like this one must have an electrical charge of 0 while ions must have their charges equaling what they specify.



20 mins wasted searching in my brain
 
  • #3
First off, you need to decide which carbon atom you're talking about. Because you've got two different carbon atoms in two different states. The structure of ethanol is:

CH3-CH2-OH

This is a neutral molecule, and the sum of the oxidation states will be 0. That's not a hydroxide ion, but an oxygen covalently bonded to carbon.

Just follow the rules and you'll be fine.
 

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