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Topic: Oxidizers  (Read 8152 times)

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Corvettaholic

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Oxidizers
« on: April 22, 2004, 07:43:56 PM »
OK, let me start this off with oxygen, it oxidizes, hence the name. To oxidize, is to grab electrons, right? Regardless, I remember being taught in high school chem that elements in the same column of the periodic table follow mostly the same rules and have similar properties. Does that mean you could use sulfur as an oxidizer, since its right below oxygen? The table on this forum says both are capable of an oxidation state of -2, meaning they both can grab 2 electrons? So both would be equally good at oxidizing, right? So the more negative number the oxidation state is, the more violently its going to grab electrons, right? Now sulfur is also capable of having a positive oxidation state, so it can also donate electrons. This depends on the situation right? And does having this ability make sulfur a lousy oxidizer?

So lets pretend our atmosphere had no oxygen and a bunch of gaseous sulfur in it, if I'm right in sulfur being just as good an oxidizer as oxygen, I could light a candle in it right? But doesn't a hydrocarbon need oxygen for a reason, as opposed to anything else?

Offline Scratch-

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Re:Oxidizers
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2004, 08:27:11 PM »
Sulfur is really stable because it forms S8.
Hydrochloric acid, guaranteed to make you lose weight!

Offline hmx9123

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Re:Oxidizers
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2004, 02:17:25 AM »
Sulfur isn't as good of an oxidizer by far.  By the mere fact that is has the extra level of p-orbitals, it decreases electronegativity by quite a lot.  You have the right general idea, but you need to keep in mind the trends of the periodic table.  The farther down you go, the bigger the atomic radius, among other things.

Offline AWK

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Re:Oxidizers
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2004, 05:30:44 AM »
Though sulfur is not as powerfool oxidiser as oxygen, it is used also for this purpose, eg heating some cycloalkanes with sulfur one can obtain aromatic hydrocarbon
AWK

Corvettaholic

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Re:Oxidizers
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2004, 11:53:02 AM »
But I'm on the right track as to if an element (according to the table) can have a negative oxidation state, it can be used as an oxidizer? To make sure I understand how bigger atomic radii works, the bigger the atom, means it has more orbitals right? That means the positive nucleus gets more and more shielded the more orbitals you pile onto it. For a big fat atom, other passerby's can barely smell the positive charge on it, therefore its a lot less likely to attract the negative stuff that floats by it. Being less likely to attract, makes it less reactive, and therefore a lousy oxidizer. Right?

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