RE: ORGLIST: Re: Oxidation state of cellulose

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From: Dr. Michael Fassbender (mifa$##$
Date: Fri Aug 07 1998 - 08:05:15 EDT

Hello there,

|>be -4+ACE-, etc. This means I agree with Dr. Fassbender. Please, correct
|>me if
|>I am wrong. And thanks a lot for your time.

An interesting discussion. Considering covalent bonds, it really depends on
the convention and formalism one adopts, how an oxidation state might be
assigned to a specific bonding partner, and this might be rather a
philosophic than a scientific question, which cannot be the issue of an
argument whatsoever.

Thus, Prof. Zabicky is right and so are Prof. Mora and I: If we look, for
instance, at the oxidation of methane to methanol: CH4 + {O} --> CH3OH,
then, according to my convention, the carbon changes from -4 to -2, while
the hydrogen state (+1) persists. If we aply Prof. Zabicky's rule, however,
then both the carbon and one hydrogen donate electrons state partly
increase, indeed, carbon from 0 to +1 and one hydrogen from 0 to +1, while
the remaining H's stay 0. In both examples, however, the total electron
number transferred to the electronegative oxygen amount to 2.

Furthermore, in the case of carbon to be converted into methane with
hydrogen, no electron transfer takes place adhering to Zabicky's rules,
while Mora and I find a reduction of carbon and an oxidation of hydrogen.
Since CH4 is a covalent molecule, the truth lies somewhere in-between...

Happy weekend,

Dr. Michael Fassbender
Radioisotope Production Group: Organic Chemistry
National Accelerator Centre (NAC)
P.O. Box 72
7131 Faure
South Africa

Phone: +27-21-843-3820 (business), +27-21-855-0056 (private)
Fax: +27-21-843-3901
email: mifa$##$



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