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QUESTION

# How do you calculate the number of valence electrons in a molecule?

The number of for molecules can be calculated by adding the of all the atoms that form that respective molecule.

Here are some examples

CO_2: Each carbon dioxide molecule is formed from 1 C atom and 2 O atoms. We know that C has 4 and that O has 6 valence electrons, which means that the number of valence electrons for 1 CO_2 molecule will be

1 * 4 + 2 * 6 = 16e^-

H_2O: Again, each water molecule is formed from 1 O atom and 2 H atoms. Since the number of valence electrons for O and H are 6 and 1, respectively, one molecule of water will have

2 * 1 + 1 * 6 = 8 valence electroncs.

H_2SO_4: One molecule of sulfuric acid has 2 H atoms, 1 S atom, and 4 O atoms, each contributing 1, 6, and 6 valence electrons. So the number of valence electrons for 1 molecule of sulfuric acid is

2 * 1 + 1 * 6 + 4 * 6 = 32e^-.

Here's a video showing more examples: