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Vol. 31 No. 3
May-June 2009

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Toward a Comprehensive Definition of Oxidation State

The purpose of this two-year project is to obtain a comprehensive definition of the term “oxidation state,” which is the oxidation number of an atom in a molecular entity or an extended structure. An algorithm and its validity limits for unambiguous evaluation of the oxidation state/number will be worked out. A glossary of related terms will be produced. The project will review and evaluate the currently used definitions of oxidation state/number in textbooks and articles. These electron-counting schemes will be scrutinized for universality on chemical entities, such as uncharged and charged atoms and molecules (simple or clusterlike, ions or radicals) as well as extended structures, in order to determine whether a simple algorithm is applicable and what its validity limits are. After a reviewing process, the report will eventually be submitted as Recommendations for Pure and Applied Chemistry. Relevant definitions on the IUPAC Gold Book website will be updated.

The members of the task group are all professors with long-term experience in teaching relevant parts of chemistry: Patrick McArdle, Galway, Ireland (organometallic chemistry); Reinhard Nesper, Zürich, Switzerland (inorganic and nanochemistry); Josef Takats, Edmonton, Canada (inorganic and organometallic chemistry); Kazuyuki Tatsumi, Nagoya, Japan (clusters and organometallics); and Pavel Karen, Oslo, Norway (inorganic and solid-state chemistry).

For more information and comments, contact Task Group Chair Pavel Karen <pavel.karen@kjemi.uio.no>.

www.iupac.org/web/ins/2008-040-1-200


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