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Oxidation state[edit]

I removed your comment regarding the oxidation states of carbon because it was misplaced (it should have been on the talk page) but I also took a look at the oxidation states of the carbons in epichlorohydrin.

First carbon: bonded to hydrogen (2), oxygen (1), carbon (1), oxidation state is -1 overall: -2 from the two hydrogens, +1 from the oxygen, 0 from the carbon.
Second carbon: bonded to hydrogen (1), oxygen (1), carbon (2), oxidation state is 0 overall: -1 from the hydrogen, +1 from the oxygen, 0 from the carbon.
Third carbon: bonded to hydrogen (2), chlorine (1), carbon (1), oxidation state is -1 overall: -2 from the two hydrogens, +1 from the chlorine, 0 from the carbon.

Thus, the carbon chain has a total oxidation state of -2, but each carbon atom does not have a -2/3 state because they are not all bonded to the same combination of atoms. Hellbus (talk) 23:36, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

This approach does not quite well sits with the way oxygen oxidation states are being derived in the same oxidation state article section.
Also, my train of thoughts was along the tracks of practical application (which might be not covered in the article, but still). Calculation of stoichiometry of any red-ox processes is easy, when one is proficient with the oxidation state handling, but distinguished atom oxidation state is absolutely useless (unneeded) there, so called "average" one is to be used.
An another application of oxidation state would be prediction of chemical behaviour and once again it's becoming next to impossible when dealing with organic carbon. Can one expect anything certain from the properties of chemical substance containing 7 carbons (per molecule), oxidations states being 0 (1 atom), −1 (2 atoms), +1 (3 atoms), +3 (1 atom)? Not really. So noone would even bother to calculate those things, chemistry is more reasonable of a science than that. (talk) 07:20, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure where you're going with the first sentence, so here's my take on the entire molecule (not just the carbons).
Oxygen is in a -2 state (no O-O or O-F bonds present)
Chlorine is in a -1 state (more electronegative than carbon)
Carbon atoms are in -1, 0 and -1 states as described above
Hydrogen atoms are all in a +1 state
Adding up all of these gives zero. Granted, the fact that (with some exceptions) the oxidation states of atoms are always written as integers is a bit of a convenient fiction. It's really a qualitative description, not a quantitative one. I'll also admit that I'm not sure how well (or if) this relates to your previous comment. Hellbus (talk) 22:38, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
First line was about how in the Oxidation state article someone else successfully calculated oxygen oxidation states to be fractional. This is not a case of exception though, I'm afraid. (talk) 12:59, 16 April 2010 (UTC)