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Valences of the Elements
Chemistry of the Periodic Table

Many people believe that the valences of the elements are those which can be derived by looking at the Groups (columns) of the Periodic Table. It is true that these are the most common valences, but the real behavior of electrons is less simple. Here is a listing of element valences. Remember that an element's electron cloud will become more stable by filling, emptying, or half-filling the shell. Also, shells don't stack neatly one on top of another, so don't always assume an element's valence is determined by the number of electrons in its outer shell.

Number Element Valence
1 Hydrogen (-1), +1
2 Helium 0
3 Lithium +1
4 Beryllium +2
5 Boron -3, +3
6 Carbon (+2), +4
7 Nitrogen -3, -2, -1, (+1), +2, +3, +4, +5
8 Oxygen -2
9 Fluorine -1, (+1)
10 Neon 0
11 Sodium +1
12 Magnesium +2
13 Aluminum +3
14 Silicon -4, (+2), +4
15 Phosphorus -3, +1, +3, +5
16 Sulfur -2, +2, +4, +6
17 Chlorine -1, +1, (+2), +3, (+4), +5, +7
18 Argon 0
19 Potassium +1
20 Calcium +2
21 Scandium +3
22 Titanium +2, +3, +4
23 Vanadium +2, +3, +4, +5
24 Chromium +2, +3, +6
25 Manganese +2, (+3), +4, (+6), +7
26 Iron +2, +3, (+4), (+6)
27 Cobalt +2, +3, (+4)
28 Nickel (+1), +2, (+3), (+4)
29 Copper +1, +2, (+3)
30 Zinc +2
31 Gallium (+2). +3
32 Germanium -4, +2, +4
33 Arsenic -3, (+2), +3, +5
34 Selenium -2, (+2), +4, +6
35 Bromine -1, +1, (+3), (+4), +5
36 Krypton 0
37 Rubidium +1
38 Strontium +2
39 Yttrium +3
40 Zirconium (+2), (+3), +4
41 Niobium (+2), +3, (+4), +5
42 Molybdenum (+2), +3, (+4), (+5), +6
43 Technetium +6
44 Ruthenium (+2), +3, +4, (+6), (+7), +8
45 Rhodium (+2), (+3), +4, (+6)
46 Palladium +2, +4, (+6)
47 Silver +1, (+2), (+3)
48 Cadmium (+1), +2
49 Indium (+1), (+2), +3
50 Tin +2, +4
51 Antimony -3, +3, (+4), +5
52 Tellurium -2, (+2), +4, +6
53 Iodine -1, +1, (+3), (+4), +5, +7
54 Xenon 0
55 Cesium +1
56 Barium +2
57 Lanthanum +3
58 Cerium +3, +4
59 Praseodymium +3
60 Neodymium +3, +4
61 Promethium +3
62 Samarium (+2), +3
63 Europium (+2), +3
64 Gadolinium +3
65 Terbium +3, +4
66 Dysprosium +3
67 Holmium +3
68 Erbium +3
69 Thulium (+2), +3
70 Ytterbium (+2), +3
71 Lutetium +3
72 Hafnium +4
73 Tantalum (+3), (+4), +5
74 Tungsten (+2), (+3), (+4), (+5), +6
75 Rhenium (-1), (+1), +2, (+3), +4, (+5), +6, +7
76 Osmium (+2), +3, +4, +6, +8
77 Iridium (+1), (+2), +3, +4, +6
78 Platinum (+1), +2, (+3), +4, +6
79 Gold +1, (+2), +3
80 Mercury +1, +2
81 Thallium +1, (+2), +3
82 Lead +2, +4
83 Bismuth (-3), (+2), +3, (+4), (+5)
84 Polonium (-2), +2, +4, (+6)
85 Astatine ?
86 Radon 0
87 Francium ?
88 Radium +2
89 Actinium +3
90 Thorium +4
91 Protactinium +5
92 Uranium (+2), +3, +4, (+5), +6
Reference: Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, 8th Ed., Norbert A. Lange (Ed.), Handbook Publishers, Inc. 1952.

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