Variable oxidation states

Variable oxidation states:

All transition elements display variety of oxidation states or variable valencies within their compounds. This property is due to the reasons explained below:

1) These elements have numerous (n–1) d and ns electrons.

2) The energies of (n–1) d and ns orbitals are quite close up to each other.

Significant features of oxidation states of transition elements:

1. The elements that exhibit the maximum number of oxidation states take place either in or close to the middle of the series. For illustration, in the first transition sequence manganese exhibits maximum number of oxidation states (+2 to +7).

2. The elements in the starting of the series display fewer oxidation states since they have less number of d-electrons that they can lose or contribute for sharing. The elements at the end of the sequence exhibit fewer oxidation states, since they have too many d electrons and therefore fewer vacant d-orbitals can be included in bonding.

3. The transition elements in lesser oxidation states (+2 and +3) usually form ionic bonds and in higher oxidation state it form covalent bonds.

4. The maximum oxidation state shown by any transition metal is +8. For illustration, ruthenium and osmium illustrate highest oxidation states of +8 in several of their compounds.

5. Some transition metals illustrate oxidation state of zero in their compounds. Ni(CO) and Fe(CO)5 are common illustrations.


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