In this post, we will determine the oxidation numbers in chlorine dioxide – ClO2.

To determine the oxidation number of an atom(s) in a molecule or an ion, start with the known oxidation numbers and the rules summarized below:



Keep in mind that the summary is zero for neutral molecules and is equal to the charge for ions.

For ClO2 the element with a standard oxidation state is oxygen which is -2, and we need to determine the oxidation state of the chlorine. 

Rule 8 – The oxidation of oxygen is –2:

Assign x for the oxidation state of C and set up an equation:

x + 2(-2) = 0,  x = +4



Further Reading


More examples of the oxidation state in this multiple-choice quiz:


Oxidation State and Redox Reactions Quiz


Reactions in Aqueous Solutions Quiz



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