Elements and Compounds

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

User Avatar
Wiki User
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 =


So the ratio must be 2 potassiums for each oxygen.


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

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.