In Hydrogen peroxide, the oxidation number of oxygen is "-1" instead of "-2".

Da pic

But it seems to me that, the oxygen atoms have '-2' as their oxidation number as each oxygen atom here is connected to a hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom.

So, what's actually happening here?

If there's any problem in my question please inform me. Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ @MaxW Sorry, was a typo, edited it $\endgroup$
    – Truth
    Nov 4 '18 at 16:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is another way to think about it. Mentally break the O-O bond heterolytically (+/-). Now you have HO- and HO+. HO- has a -2 charge (normal) and HO+ has a zero charge on oxygen since in both cases hydrogen is +1. Oxygen zero, a 2-electron oxidant, will accept 2-electrons from a reducing agent to convert HO+ to HO-. This is why HOOH is an oxidant. E.g., MeSMe + HOOH ---> Me2SO + H2O. $\endgroup$
    – user55119
    Nov 4 '18 at 16:45

Each oxygen atom is connected to a hydrogen atom(which develops -1 charge on oxygen and +1 on hydrogen) and to another $\textbf{oxygen}$ atom which contributes no charge to both(0 and 0). Similar for other oxygen atom. Hence oxygen state of each oxygen atom is -1 and for each hydrogen atom it is +1.

In general, in peroxide linkage, oxygen has -1 oxidation state


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.