Which elements tend to lose electrons? What charge will they become?

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Elements that are metals tend to lose electrons and become positively charged ions called cations. Elements that are nonmetals tend to gain electrons and become negatively charged ions called anions

  • Metals that are located in column 1A of the periodic table form ions by losing one electron. This gives them a charge of 1+. 
  • Metals that are located in column 2A of the periodic table form ions by losing two electrons. This gives them a charge of 2+.
  • Metals that are located in column 3A of the periodic table form ions by losing three electrons. This gives them a charge of 3+.
  • The transition metals zinc (Zn), silver (Ag), and cadmium (Cd) form ions by losing one electron. This gives them a charge of 1+.
  • Most other transition metals and the group 4A metals (lead (Pb) and tin (Sn)), tend to form two or more different positively charged ions. For example, iron (Fe) can either lose two electrons and form an ion with a 2+ charge, or lose three electrons and form an ion with a 3+ charge.

 

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