# Question #71df7

Sep 27, 2016

Absolutely not.

#### Explanation:

The most important thing to remember about ions is that you can only form an ion by adding or removing electrons. In that regard, the parent atom and the ion must always have the same number of protons.

Why is that the case? Because if you change the number of protons you change the identity of the element.

In your case, aluminium, $\text{Al}$, has an atomic number equal to $13$. That means that a neutral aluminium atom has $13$ protons inside its nucleus and $13$ electrons surrounding its nucleus.

In order to form a $3 +$ cation, the neutral aluminium atom must lose $3$ electrons. This will give it

• $13$ protons, the same as the neutral atom
• $10$ electrons

For the sake of argument, let's imagine what would happen if you were to add $3$ protons to a neutral aluminium atom. The atomic number, which tells you the number of protons present in the nucleus, would increase from $13$ to $16$.

At this point, you wouldn't be dealing with an aluminium atom anymore. The resulting atom would now be identified as a sulfur atom, $\text{S}$.

Assuming that you left the number of electrons unchanged, you would now have

• $16$ protons, the same as neutral sulfur atom
• $13$ electrons

Theoretically, you would now have a $3 +$ sulfur cation, what you get when you remove $3$ electrons from a neutral sulfur atom, not a $3 +$ aluminium cation.

So remember, ions can only be formed by adding or removing electrons and never by changing the number of protons.