Salts of Polyatomic Ions

Molecules can also be charged. Charged molecules are known as polyatomic ions. Since there is a huge variety of molecules there is also the possibility of a huge variety of polyatomic ions. Fortunately there are ony a few common polyatonic ions. Some of the most common are given in the table below:

The formulas for the salts of these ions are formed by the usual requirement of electrical neutrality. The name of a salt is the cation name followed by the name of the anion. For example

Example 1:

Q: What is the formula and name of the salt formed from magnesium and oxalate ions?

A: Mg2+ and C2O4 2-, formula: MgC2O4 , Name: magnesium oxalate

Example 2:

Q: Give the formula for iron(III) bicarbonate.

A: Fe+3 and HCO3-, Formula: Fe(HCO3)3

Example 3:

Q: Give an example of a salt without a metal

A: We can do this with the ammonium ion, e.g. ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3).

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C101 Class Notes
Prof. N. De Leon