Elements and Compounds

What is the ratio of potassium atoms to oxygen atoms in a binary compound made from these two elements?

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2012-01-03 18:42:50

When combined with other elements, potassium (K) always forms a

+1 ion. Oxygen (O), when combined with other elements almost always

(with a few rare exceptions) forms a -2 ion. Therefore, when these

combine to form a binary compound, the charges must balance out.

Therefore there must be 2 K+ ions for each O2- ion because 2*1 =

2!

So the ratio must be 2 potassiums for each oxygen.

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Three potassium oxides are known:

- K2O: 2 potassium atoms and 1 oxygen atom

- KO2: 1 potassium atoms and 2 oxygen atoms

- K2O2: 2 potassium atoms and 2 oxygen atoms


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