# Question #5e6fa

Nov 17, 2014

Sulfur has 16 electrons which gives an electronic structure of :

$1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{4}$

So you can see there are 6 electrons in the outer energy level which are available for chemical reactions.

It is better to think of oxidation states rather than valency.

The oxidation state , or number, is the charge on the atom if the compound was 100% ionic.

Sulfur can form compounds with oxidation states ranging from -2 to +6.

${S}^{2 -}$ the sulfide ion which is -2

$S$ the element which is zero

$S {O}_{2}$ sulfur (IV) oxide which is +4

$S {O}_{4}^{2 -}$ sulfate(VI) which is +6.

(Note we use roman numerals to signify the oxidation state)

There are many more, but all within that range.