What is phosphate's electron configuration?

1 Answer
Jul 30, 2016

Answer:

The charges formally reside on the oxygen atoms, as we would expect for this strongly electronegative atom.

Explanation:

There are #5+4xx6+3=32" valence electrons"# for #PO_4^(3-)#, and a formal Lewis structure of #O=P(-O^-)_3# is proposed. What is your prediction with respect to the structure of the phosphate ion?

Note that when we titrate phosphporic acid #H_3PO_4# with sodium hydroxide, we get mainly #HPO_4^(2-)# at the endpoint in aqueous solution.