Oxidation State?

Why is the oxidation state for [Os(NH3)2(Cl)2]SO4 a +4 state. Please explain.

Answer:
Oxidation state is a number assigned to an element in a compound according to some rules. This number enable us to describe oxidation-reduction reactions, and balancing redox chemical reactions. You are learning the skill to assign oxidation states (or oxidation numbers) to a variety of compounds and ions.
When an oxidation number is assigned to the element, it does not imply that the element in the compound acquires this as a charge, but rather that it is a convenient number to use for balancing chemical reactions. The guidelines for assigning oxidation states (numbers) are given below:


The oxidation state of any element such as Fe, H2, O2, P4, S8 is zero (0).

The oxidation state of oxygen in its compounds is -2, except for peroxides like H2O2, and Na2O2, in which the oxidation state for O is -1.

The oxidation state of hydrogen is +1 in its compounds, except for metal hydrides, such as NaH, LiH, etc., in which the oxidation state for H is -1.

The oxidation states of other elements are then assigned to make the algebraic sum of the oxidation states equal to the net charge on the molecule or ion.

The following elements usually have the same oxidation states in their compounds:
+1 for alkali metals - Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs;
+2 for alkaline earth metals - Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba;
-1 for halogens except when they form compounds with oxygen or one another;
These rules are wordy because we have to point out the special cases such as H2O2 and Na2O2. Rule 3. deals with hydride. Other than these, you may simply remember the oxidation states for H and O are +1 and -2 respectively in a coumpound, and oxidation of other elements can be asigned by making the algebraic sum of the oxidation states equal to the net charge on the molecule or ion.
NH3 is a neutral ligand, and doesn't affect the charge of the metal ion.
Cl as a ligand has an oxidation state of -1, and there are two of them.
So the Os (+4) with 2 x Cl- attached now has a charge of +2, balancing out the 2- from the sulphate ion.

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