Zinc phosphide, #Zn_3P_2#, is often used as a rat poison. Phosphorus has 5 valence electrons. How many valence electrons does each zinc atom lose?

1 Answer
Dec 17, 2016

Answer:

The phosphide anion is formally #P^(3-)#..........

Explanation:

And the zinc cation is #Zn^(2+)#. When the ions form a salt, clearly they form an electrically neutral species; and thus the formulation of the salt is #Zn_3P_2#. Each phosphorus atom formally possesses 8 valence electrons. The #4s^2# valence electrons on zinc are presumed to be ABSENT, and this centre is a #d^10# dication.