In a compound, aluminum (Z=13) exists in only the +3 oxidation state
but silicon (Z=14) can exist in either the +2 or the +4 oxidation
state. Why is this so? Explanations from all perspectives (e.g.
quantum theory...orbitals etc...). This is not a homework problem, I
am just curious on the answer.
It has to do with the bonding.
Generally speaking oxidation by a chemical to another chemical will
take the easiest path to the production of a substance.
H20 comes first,then H2O2,etc
Same with all the atoms.If you are trying to react two chemicals with
an oxidant that too is the same.I=The oxidizer will take the path of
least resistance with the compound..eg:
NH2-CO-NH2 + NH3 +K2Cr2O7
The path of least resistance is to create NH4 and then oxidize CO-NH2
The remainder will be NH4+CO2-NH2+K2Cr2O6.
Then the oxidizer will oxidize the CO2-NH2 into CO2-NH20.
You will have NH4+CO2-N + H2) + K2Cr2O5.This continues until all
compounds are oxadized and reduced.
Then the reaction is complete