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Oxidation State of Nickel – An Overview

Oxidation State of Nickel

Nickel is a versatile element that can exist in a variety of oxidation states. This means that nickel can react and form different compounds depending on its oxidation state. Let’s take a look at how this works and how it affects the properties of nickel-containing compounds.

What is Oxidation?

Oxidation is the process of adding oxygen to a compound, resulting in an increase in its oxidation state. The oxidation state (or number) is a measure of how much oxygen has been added to the compound, which can range from -2 to +8 for most metals. For example, iron can exist in either the +2 or +3 oxidation states; when the iron is oxidized, it changes from Fe2+ to Fe3+.

Oxidation State of Nickel

Nickel can exist in several different oxidation states, ranging from -1 to +4, depending on its environment. The most common oxidation states are 0 (neutral), +2 (divalent), and +3 (trivalent). These different states allow nickel to form different types of compounds and complexes with other elements. For example, NiO (nickel oxide) has an oxidation state of 2+, while NiCl2 (nickel chloride) has an oxidation state of 3+.

Effects on Compounds

The various oxidation states have a significant effect on how nickel-containing compounds react with other substances. For example, two compounds containing nickel with different oxidation numbers are not likely to react with each other in the same way as two compounds containing iron with different oxidation numbers would. This means that you must consider the specific nature of each compound when deciding whether or not it will react with another substance.


Nickel is an incredibly versatile element due to its ability to exist in multiple oxidation states. This means that nickel-containing compounds may have very different properties than those containing other metals like iron or copper, depending on their respective oxidation numbers. It’s important to understand these differences if you want your reactions with nickel-containing compounds to go as planned! Understanding the effects that varying oxidation states have on reactions makes all the difference when dealing with this malleable metal!

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