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Can someone explain how to calculate formal charges again? Or if there's another way aside from the equation we learned in class? And if we're trying to ionic element's lewis structure, do we had the charge to the number of electrons to the element/compound?
I just think of it as 1. taking the number of valence electrons (which can be found on the periodic table) and 2. taking this number and subtracting the number of electrons surrounding the specific element (where a bond would only really be one electron). This way its only a two step calculation and a lot faster.
To calculate the formal charge, subtract the sum of the total number of lone electrons and total number of bonds (0.5 x total number of bonded electrons) from the number of valence electrons of that specific atom. All the atoms FC should add up to the compounds overall charge. It is preferred to have the lowest absolute value of FC for individual atoms. Like for CO2 it is preferred that each atom had a formal charge of 0,0,0 versus have 0,-1,+1.
I found this video about formal charges on Khan Academy very helpful: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/che ... structures
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