# What is the atomic number of phosphate?

Sep 11, 2016

None, phosphate is not an element

#### Explanation:

Phosphate is an anion with the chemical formula $P {O}_{4}^{3 -}$ and has the above configuration. Only single elements have a atomic number, which is the number of protons in the nucleus. The atomic number of phosphorus is 15 and the atomic number of oxygen is 8.

Sep 11, 2016

Phosphate anion is a polyatomic ion with a formal charge of $- 3$.
Phosphates are the salts of $\text{phosphoric acid, } {H}_{3} P {O}_{4}$, a mineral acid of moderate strength. Both biphosphates, salts of $H P {O}_{4}^{2 -}$, and phosphates, $P {O}_{4}^{3 -}$, tend to form insoluble salts with most metal ions save the alkali metals.
The atomic number of phosphorus is $15$.