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What is the chemical formula for sodium oxalate? (1) NaO (2) Na2O (3) NaC2O4

January 2020 NY Regents Chemistry Exam


36 What is the chemical formula for sodium oxalate?

(1) NaO (2) Na2O

(3) NaC2O4

(4) Na2C2O4


Solution: Sodium oxalate is an ionic compound because it is composed of a metal (sodium) and a polyatomic ion (oxalate). Table E lists polyatomic ions. Oxalate is C2O4^2–. The oxidation number (charge) of sodium ion can be found on the Periodic Table and is +1. The charge numbers get exchanged to make the correct ionic formula.

Na^+1 C2O4^2–

Na2(C2O4)1 = Na2C2O4

Answer: 4


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