What is the oxidation number of P in H3PO2 molecule?

The oxidation number of Phosphorus (P) is the unknown here. Let us consider it as x.

The Oxidation Number of Hydrogen (H) is + 1

The Oxidation Number of Oxygen (O) is -2

The H3PO2 is a neutral molecule, so the overall charge is zero (0).

Using the values in the formula,

H3PO2 = 3(1) + x + 2(-2) = 0

H3PO2 = 3 + x -4 = 0

x -1 = 0

x = 1

The Oxidation Number of P in H3PO2 is + 1.

To confirm, substitute the value obtained in the formula, the answer should be zero as the charge on the molecule is zero.

H3PO2 = 3(1) + 1 + 2(-2) = 4-4 = 0

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