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How does the ease of oxidation relate to the position of the hallide on the periodic...

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sasuke24 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted April 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM via web

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How does the ease of oxidation relate to the position of the hallide on the periodic table? 

note: a lab i did showed that chloride expierenced little to no colour change while the chlorine and iodide expierenced more in a change in colour. (reacted with acid and potassium permanganate)

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted April 18, 2013 at 3:47 AM (Answer #1)

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It sounds like you treated different halogen salts with potassium permanganate in acidic solution and observed the results.  The four basic halogens are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine.  Potassium permanganate is an extremely powerful oxidizing agent.  To oxidize an element means to remove electrons from it.  So in this case the halogens are being oxidized by adding oxygen atoms to them to become ions like perchlorate and periodate.  We know that electronegativity decreases as you go down the halogens from top to bottom.  In other words, fluorine is the most electronegative and iodine is the least.  Since oxidizing is removing electrons, it would seem that the less electronegative the atom, the easier it is to oxidize.  So the ease of oxidation should increase as you move down the halogens.  In other words, as electronegativity decreases, the ease of oxidation increases.

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