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What are the different types of bonds present in the structure?

Does Nitrogen donates one electron from its lone pair to carbon and acquires a positive charge?

How do I determine the Oxidation state of Nitrogen and Carbon?


In such type of questions, we can't directly determine Oxidation state by the normal algebra method.

First you have to draw the structure.

1.In a covalent bond, the more electronegative element gets a contribution of -1and the other element gets a contribution of +1 charge(valid for both sigma and pi bonds. Treats double double bond as two single bonds and triple bonds as three singles bonds).

  1. Bonds between same element have contribution 0 to each element.

  2. In a coordinate bond, if the bond is directed from less electronegative element to more electrononegative element, the more elecronegative element gets a contribution of -2 and the less electrononegative element gets a contribution of +2.

4.in case the coordinate bond is directed from more electrononegative to less elecronegative elements, the contribution is 0 to each element.

5.To these 4 steps for each and every bond. The value of Oxidation state of an element is sum of all contributions due to all other elements/bonds.

In your question, due to C-H bond, carbon gets -1 and hydrogen +1. Due to the triple bond between C and N, N gets -3 and C gets +3.

Summing all,

Oxidation state of hydrogen is +1

Oxidation state of carbon is -1+3=+2

And oxidation state of nitrogen is -3

  • $\begingroup$ Is one of the bonds between N and C, an ionic bond? $\endgroup$ – ayc Nov 5 '18 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ No. Only in solvents like water it disocciates into H+ and CN-. $\endgroup$ – thewitness Nov 5 '18 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ In the structure we see that there are four bonds around nitrogen.Could you explain which type of bond each of them is? $\endgroup$ – ayc Nov 5 '18 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ I thin your statements three and four are wrong .They are supposed to be opposite.That is,if coordinate bond is directed from more electronegative element to less electronegative element then we should neglect the contribution of cordinate bond. Reference: sciencehq.com/chemistry/oxidation-number.html $\endgroup$ – ayc Nov 6 '18 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ Oh sorry it was a typo. I have edited it now. $\endgroup$ – thewitness Nov 6 '18 at 6:06

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