Sulfate is a covalent ion. Therefore it"s much more realistic to usage formal charges, not oxidation states, to explain its atoms.

It"s yes sir to give sulfate an overall oxidation state, however it doesn"t make feeling to carry out so because that sulfur and also oxygen in sulfate.

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Oxidation states are hypothetical charges for a link that has actually ideal ionic bonds, or would form ideal ionic bonds, i.e. complete transfer of the electron pair to just one atom in the bond.

You wrote #"SO"_4^(2-)#, which is the sulfate polyatomic ion. You composed that its total charge was #-2#.

Since sulfate (#"SO"_4^(2-)#) is already ionized, its fee is that is oxidation state. For this reason it"s sort of pointless to find the "oxidation state" for #"SO"_4^(2-)# since it"s already given.

The oxidation states for sulfur and also oxygen atom are determined from:

electronegativitiestotal charge

#"SO"_4^(2-)# has actually a full charge the #-2#, and oxygen is more electronegative 보다 sulfur. So, oxygen polarizes the electron density towards chin more, and thus has actually the more negative oxidation state here.

Since oxygen is on obelisk 16, its meant oxidation state is #color(red)(-2)#. Therefore:

#-2xx4 + x = -2#

#=>##x# offers the oxidation state of sulfur, i m sorry is #color(red)(+6)#.

#=> color(highlight)(stackrel(color(red)(+6))("S")stackrel(color(red)(-2))("O"_4^(2-)))#

But save in mind that this is unrealistic. If you ever do this for redox balancing, it"s just an accountancy scheme, and nothing more.


#"SO"_4^(2-)# is generally a covalent ion. The electronegativity distinctions are only #1.0#. So, it"s much more practical to find the formal charges.


Formal charges are the theoretical partial charges because that if the compound has ideal covalent bonds, i.e. perfectly also sharing of electron pairs.

When us cleave each bond in half, us then assume the one electron goes to every atom, and we deserve to assign officially charges the way.

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The "owned" electrons space the persons the atom has actually upon this cleavageThe "valence" electrons space the ones the the atom typically has as a neutral atom.