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QUESTION

# What is the oxidation number of C_2O_4^(2-)?

The oxidation states of the C_2O_4^-2 ion are C^(+3) and O^-2.

C_2O_4 oxalate is a polyatomic ion with a charge of -2.

The oxygen atoms in this molecule have a oxidation state of -2, vecause oxygen is always a -2 charge. Since there are 4 atoms of oxygen the overall charge of the oxygen atoms is 4(-2) = -8.

Since the total charge of oxalate is -2 the charge created by the carbon atoms must be +6. (-8 +6 = -2) this means that each carbon atom must have an oxidation state of +3. (+6/2 = +3)

The oxidation states of the C_2O_4^-2 ion are C^(+3) and O^-2

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