Finding The Oxidation Numbers for The Elements in Mg₃(PO₄)₂


Finding The Oxidation Numbers for The Elements in Mg₃(PO₄)₂

Find the oxidation numbers for Mg, P and O in Mg₃(PO₄)₂? The key elements are Mg and O. Magnesium has a +2 oxidation number. Oxygen has a -2. Therefore, the oxidation number for P must be calculated. The algebraic equation is 3Mg + 2P +8(O) = 0. The +2 replaces the Mg and the -2 replaces the O in the algebraic equation. The equation now appears as 3(+2) + 2P + 8(-2) = 0. This gives 6 + 2P + ⁻16 = 0. Simplifiying the equation gives 2P + ⁻10 = 0. To solve for the oxidation number for P, 10 is added to both sides. This gives 2P = 10. Dividing both sides by 2 shows phosphorus having an oxidaton number of +5. The +5 is another common oxidation number for phosphorus. 


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