What are the oxidation states for aluminum? What properties (oxidizing or reducing) are characteristic of aluminum in different oxidation states? Can aluminum in a free state have oxidizing properties?
Al: 1s2 2s3 2p6 3s2 3p1
Because on the outer electron layer of aluminum there are three valence electrons, then giving them away, they acquire the oxidation state “+3”.
Therefore, the characteristic oxidation states are 0 (for an atom), +3 (for an ion). An aluminum atom (oxidation state 0) can only donate electrons, which means it can only be a reducing agent.
An aluminum cation (oxidation state +3) can only accept electrons, which means it can only be an oxidizing agent.
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