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    Explanation of oxidation number and reduction

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    1) What is the oxidation number of nitrogen in N2O4 (dinitrogen tetraoxide?

    First, it has no charge; therefore N2 + 4(-2) = 0
    N2 = 8, and thus N = +4. Is this right or wrong? Someone told me N = +2?

    2) Nickel(II) nitrate is reduced to nickel metal in an oxidation-reduction reaction. Which is true?

    a Nickel ion gains 2 electrons.
    b Nickel ion loses 2 electrons.
    c Nickel ion gains 1 electrons.
    d Nickel ion loses 1 electrons.
    e Nickel metal gain 2 electrons.
    f Nickel metal loses 2 electrons.

    Now I solved this by saying Ni(NO-)2. then set = to 0. and went from their, but got wrong answer. I got N=5, Ni=+1, Ni=+2, O=-6. My answer was C, but wrong.
    Using the set everything = to a 0 charge and figure out each number for each element show me step by step how to set this up and get the right answer. Also, what is the difference between a nickel ion and nickel metal?

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    Solution Preview

    To 1): You have calculated correctly. The oxidation number of N = +4

    To 2.)

    As the formula Nickel(II) nitrate indicates Nickel is an ion with the charge +2.
    Roman letters in brackets show the number of electrons the metal has lost / given to another atom.
    These electrons are transferred to other ...

    Solution Summary

    The oxidation number of N in N2O4 is given without further explanation.
    A step-by-step explanation for reduction of Ni 2+ is given with explanation of the difference of 'metal' and 'metal ion'