Redox Reactions: Ionic vs Covalent Compounds

In summary, not all ionic reactions are redox reactions and elements in covalent compounds do not always have an oxidation state of zero. The oxidation state for each common element can be found in your book. The example of Ag+ + Cl- -> AgCl is a non-redox reaction between ions.
  • #1
gsingh2011
115
1
Hi, I just learned about oxidation and reduction reactions and I have some questions.
Are all ionic reactions redox reactions?
Do elements that make up covalent compounds always have an oxidation number of zero because they only share electrons, not give or take? That is what I was thinking, but according to my book, in the molecule H2S, H has an oxidation of +1 and S has one of -2, which doesn't make sense if its a covalent compound...
Thanks.
 
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  • #2
No, not all ionic reactions are redox. Let's say you react NaNO3 and HCl. There is no change in oxidation numbers for the reactants, so it isn't redox. A lot of reactions involving ionic compounds are redox, especially ones involving transition metals, but not all of them are.

And no, elements in covalent compounds do not always have oxidation states of zero. There are certain rules regarding oxidation states for each common element, which should be in your book. Read a little more about oxidation states and this will make more sense.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask more questions if you have them
 
  • #3
Perhaps a better example would be

Ag+ + Cl- -> AgCl

It is obvious that reaction takes place, it takes place between ions, and it is not a redox reaction.
 
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Related to Redox Reactions: Ionic vs Covalent Compounds

1. What is the difference between ionic and covalent compounds in terms of redox reactions?

In a redox reaction, ionic compounds involve the transfer of electrons from one atom to another, resulting in the formation of ions. Covalent compounds, on the other hand, involve the sharing of electrons between atoms.

2. How do you determine if a compound is ionic or covalent?

The type of bonding in a compound can be determined by looking at the electronegativity difference between the atoms. If the difference is greater than 1.7, the bond is considered ionic. If the difference is less than 1.7, the bond is considered covalent.

3. Can ionic and covalent compounds undergo redox reactions simultaneously?

Yes, in some cases, both ionic and covalent compounds can undergo redox reactions at the same time. This is known as a disproportionation reaction, where the same element is both oxidized and reduced in the reaction.

4. How does the type of compound affect the rate of a redox reaction?

The rate of a redox reaction is affected by the strength of the bonds between the atoms. Ionic compounds tend to have weaker bonds, making redox reactions occur at a faster rate compared to covalent compounds.

5. Are there any exceptions to the rules for determining if a compound is ionic or covalent?

Yes, there are some exceptions to the electronegativity difference rule for determining the type of compound. For example, some compounds may have polar covalent bonds, where the electronegativity difference is between 0.5 and 1.7, but they still exhibit ionic characteristics in redox reactions.

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