The 40th element in the periodic table is zirconium. The element of group-4 is zirconium and its symbol is ‘Zr’. Zirconium is a d-block element. Therefore, the valence electrons of the zirconium element are determined differently. This article discussed in detail the valence electrons of zirconium. Hopefully, after reading this article you will know in detail about this.
How many protons and electrons does a zirconium atom have?
The nucleus is located in the center of the atom. Protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus. The atomic number of zirconium is 40. The atomic number is the number of protons. That is, the number of protons in the zirconium is forty. Electrons equal to protons are located in a circular shell outside the nucleus. That is, a zirconium atom has a total of forty(40) electrons.
What are the valence electrons of zirconium?
The 2nd element in group-4 is zirconium. The elements in groups 3-12 are called transition elements. The valence electrons are the total number of electrons in the last orbit. But in the case of transition elements, the valence electrons remain in the inner shell(orbit). This is because the electron configuration of the transition elements shows that the last electrons enter the d-orbital.
The valence electrons determine the properties of the element and participate in the formation of bonds. The electron configuration of zirconium shows that the last shell of zirconium has a total of two electrons. But the electron configuration of zirconium in the Aufbau method shows that its last electron(4d2) has entered the d-orbital.
To determine the valence electron of a transition element, the last shell electrons have to be calculated with the d-orbital electrons. The zirconium participates in the formation of bonds through its last four electrons and can become an ion by donating or sharing the last four electrons.
How do you calculate the number of valence electrons in a zirconium atom?
The valence electrons have to be determined by following a few steps. The electron configuration is one of them. It is not possible to determine the valence electron without electron configuration. Knowing the electron configuration in the right way, it is very easy to determine the valence electrons of all the elements.
The valence electrons of the transition element cannot be determined according to Bohr’s atomic model. This is because the valence electrons of the transition elements are located in the inner shell. However, the valence electrons of the transition element can be easily determined according to the Aufbau principle. Now we will learn how to determine the valence electrons of zirconium.
Step-1: Determining the total number of electrons in zirconium
1st we need to know the total number of electrons in the zirconium atom. To know the number of electrons, you need to know the number of protons in the zirconium. And to know the number of protons, you need to know the atomic number of the zirconium(Zr) element.
To know the atomic number we need to take the help of a periodic table. It is necessary to know the atomic number of zirconium elements from the periodic table. The atomic number is the number of protons. And electrons equal to protons are located outside the nucleus.
That is, we can finally say that there are electrons equal to the atomic number in the zirconium atom. From the periodic table, we see that the atomic number of zirconium is 40. That is, the zirconium atom has a total of forty electrons.
Step-2: Need to do electron configuration of zirconium
Step 2 is very important. In this step, the electrons of zirconium have to be arranged. We know that zirconium atoms have a total of forty electrons. The first two electrons enter the 1s orbital and the next two electrons enter the 2s orbital.
The next six electrons enter the 2p orbital. The p-orbital can have a maximum of six electrons. So, six electrons enter the 2p orbital. The next eight electrons enter the 3s and 3p orbitals. The 3p orbital is now full, so two electrons enter the 4s orbital. We know that a d-orbital can have a maximum of ten electrons.
Therefore, ten electrons enter the 3d-orbital. The 3d orbital is now full, so six electrons enter the 4p orbital. The next two electrons enter the 5s orbital and the remaining two electrons enter the 4d-orbital. Therefore, the zirconium electron configuration will be 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p6 5s2 4d2.
Step-3: Determine the valence shell and calculate the total electrons
The third step is to diagnose the valence shell. The last shell after the electron configuration is called the valence shell(orbit). The total number of electrons in a valence shell is called valence electrons. But the valence electrons of the transition elements are located in the inner shell.
For the transition element, the valence electrons have to be determined by adding the total electron of the d-orbital to the electron in the last shell of the atom. The electron configuration shows that the last shell of zirconium has two electrons and the d-orbital has a total of two electrons. Therefore, the valence electrons of zirconium(Zr) are four.
What is the valency of zirconium?
The ability of one atom of an element to join another atom during the formation of a molecule is called valency(valence). The number of unpaired electrons in the last orbital of an element is the valency of that element.
During compound formation, the zirconium atom donates or shares four electrons with another atom, and the oxidation state of zirconium(Zr) is +4. Therefore, the valency of the zirconium element is 4.
How many valence electrons does zirconium ion(Zr4+) have?
The elements that have 1, 2, or 3 electrons in the last shell donate the electrons in the last shell during bond formation. The elements that form bonds by donating electrons are called cations. Zirconium donates the electron of the last shell to form bonds and turns into a zirconium ion(Zr4+). That is, zirconium is a cation element.
Zr – 4e– → Zr4+
The electron configuration of zirconium ion(Zr4+) is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6. The electron configuration of zirconium ion shows that the zirconium ion(Zr4+) has four shells and the last shell has eight electrons. This electron configuration shows that the zirconium ion has acquired electron configuration of krypton(Kr) and it achieves an octave full stable electron configuration. Since the last shell of a zirconium ion has eight electrons, the valence electrons of the zirconium ion(Zr4+) are eight.