Valency & Atomic Mass of Sulphur

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What is Sulphur?

Sulphur, a non-metal, is an abundant multivalent element found as a tasteless, odorless yellow crystalline solid. It occurs naturally as pure sulfur or sulfide and sulfate minerals. The characteristic foul smell commonly associated with sulfur is actually caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Sulfur exhibits complex crystallography, forming different crystal structures depending on specific conditions.

What is Valency?

Valency of an element is determined by the number of valence electrons involved in chemical reactions. Chemical compounds result from the combination of two or more components in specific mass ratios. Stable compounds are formed by the union of one atom of an element with a specific number of atoms from another element. Each component possesses distinct abilities to combine.

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How to find the Valency?

In the periodic table, elements within the same group exhibit identical valencies. Group 8 elements, for example, have achieved octet configuration, fully occupying their outermost orbit, resulting in zero valency. Three primary methods exist to ascertain an element’s valency.

Octet Rule

When valency cannot be determined from the periodic table, the octet rule is employed. It is stated that electrons in the outermost orbit of atoms are prone to being gained or lost in a compound, resulting in a modification of their number. The outermost orbit can accommodate a maximum of eight electrons. An atom is deemed stable when its outermost shell contains eight electrons.

Periodic Table

Valency calculations rely on utilizing the periodic table. For example, elements in column 1, including hydrogen, lithium, sodium, and others, possess a valency of +1. Similarly, elements in column 17, such as fluorine, chlorine, and others, also exhibit a valency of 1. Column 18 is reserved for noble gases, which have a valency of 0 and demonstrate inert properties.

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Chemical Formula

The octet rule serves as the basis for this approach. By examining the chemical interactions between elements with known valencies, the valencies of various transitional elements or radicals within a molecule can be determined. In this scenario, the octet rule is applied, where the combining elements and radicals strive to achieve eight electrons in their outermost shell to attain stability.

Examples of Valency

Valency of Oxygen (O)

Oxygen has an atomic number of 8. Electron distribution: K shell = 2 electrons, L shell = 6 electrons, and M shell = 0 electrons. With 6 electrons in its outermost shell, the valency of oxygen is calculated as 8 – 6 = 2.

valency of oxygen

Valency of Chlorine (Cl)

Chlorine has an atomic number of 17, with electron distribution in its shells as follows: K shell = 2 electrons, L shell = 8 electrons, and M shell = 7 electrons. With 7 electrons in its outermost shell, the valency of chlorine is determined as 8 – 7 = 1.

valency of chlorine

Valency of Aluminum (Al)

Aluminium has an atomic number of 13, with electron distribution in its shells as follows: K shell = 2 electrons, L shell = 8 electrons, and M shell = 3 electrons. With 3 electrons in its outermost shell, the valency of aluminium is 3.

valency of aluminum

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Valency Chart

Valency & Atomic Number of First 20 Elements

Atomic NumberElementValency
12Magnesium 2
19Potassium 1


valency and atomic mass of sulphur

Hence we have successfully understood about what is valency and atomic mass. Coming to the main part that is the valency and atomic mass of Sulphur :

Valency of Sulphur – 2

Atomic Mass of Sulphur – 32.065 amu.

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