# How do you draw the Lewis dot structure for KNO_3?

Aug 11, 2018

Well, you gots a potassium cation, and nitrate anion as the gegenion..

#### Explanation:

Nitrate anion is an interesting customer in terms of resonance, in that THREE of the FOUR atoms bear a formal electric charge in the resonance structure. And of course the charges SUM to the formal charge of nitrate anion, i.e. negative ONE...

And so for $N {O}_{3}^{-}$...we add up the valence electrons, i.e. ${5}_{\text{nitrogen electrons"+3xx6_"oxygen electrons"+1_"negative charge"=24*"electrons}} .$

And so we gots 12 electron pairs to distribute over four centres...nitrogen as the least electronegative atom is the CENTRAL atom: :stackrel(ddot)O=stackrel(+)N(-O^(-))_2...the which structure distributes the 12 electron pairs as required. The nitrogen atom in nitrate is FORMALLY QUATERNIZED, and bears a formal positive charge. Of course, all the oxygen atoms are equivalent, as resonance would suggest.

As written nitrate has a formal NEGATIVE charge..as the Lewis structure indicates, and neutrality for THE SALT is obtained with the potassium cation, ${K}^{+}$..

Can you do the same thing for $\text{nitrite anion,}$ $N {O}_{2}^{-}$? What about for $N {O}_{2}$, a NEUTRAL gas?