Valency of Sodium | How many valence electrons does Sodium (Na) have?

Valency of Sodium | How many valence electrons does Sodium (Na) have?

Sodium, a chemical element with symbol Na, is one of the highly reactive alkali metals of group 1 with atomic number 11 in the periodic table. Sodium is not found in a free state in nature due to its high reactivity behavior so that it is abstracted from different compounds (mostly from salts).

As we know how much sodium is being used in the world of chemistry, so we must have very good proper information about its electronic properties to survive in the world of chemistry and that’s why you are here to know what valence electrons and valency of sodium are, aren’t you? But for this you have to know what these two terms are, so without wasting your time let's go for it,

Difference between valence electrons and valency

Valence electrons are the total number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom (i.e. in outermost orbital). The valence electrons for a neutral atom is always definite, it cannot be varied (more or less) in any condition for a particular atom and may or not be equal to its valency.

Valency is defined as the total number of electrons an atom can lose, gain, or share at the time of bond formation to get a stable electronic configuration i.e. to complete an octet. The valency of an atom can be variable in different compounds or in chemical reactions due to different bonding mechanisms.

Sodium (Na) valence electrons

There are four simple steps to find out the valence electrons for sodium atom which are:

Step 1: Find the Atomic Number

To find out the atomic number of sodium, we can use the periodic table. With the help of the periodic table, we can easily see that the atomic number of sodium is 11. As its atomic number is 11, it has a total of 11 protons and for neutral sodium, the number of protons is always equal to the number of electrons i.e. 11 electrons in the nucleus.

Step 2: Write Electron Configuration

Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons on the orbitals. The sodium atom has a total of 11 electrons, so we have to put 11 electrons in orbitals. The first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital as S orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons only. The next two will go in 2s orbital and the next six electrons will go in 2p orbital as P orbital can only hold a maximum of 6 electrons. Now the extra one will go into the 3S orbital. Now we have,

Sodium electron configuration Na (11) = 1s22s22p63s1 (complete configuration) or [Ne]3s1 (condensed configuration).

Step 3: Determine Valence Shell

As we know, the valence shell of an atom can be found from the highest number of principle quantum numbers which is expressed in the term of n and in 1s22s22p63s1, the highest value of n is 3 so that the valence shell of Na is 3s1.

Step 4: Find Valence Electrons

The total number of electrons present in the valence shell of an atom is called valence electrons, and there is only one electron present in the valence shell of sodium (3s1). Thus, sodium has only one valence electron.

Valency of Sodium (Na)

There are many different ways to find out the valency of an atom which reflects the ability of an atom to bond with other atoms. Valence describes how easily an atom or a free radical can combine with other chemical species. The valency of an atom is determined based on the number of electrons lost, gained, or shared with another atom.

An atom is said to be stable when its outermost shells have eight electrons (except H and He). If the total number of electrons in outermost shells is between one to four, the atom has positive valency and if electrons are between four to eight, the valency is calculated by subtracting from eight and valency is negative. Atoms having four outermost electrons possess both positive and negative valency and atom having eight outermost electrons have zero valencies (i.e. noble gases).

Alkali metals like sodium reached the stable (nearest inert gas configuration) by losing one outermost electron. So that the valency of sodium (Na) is 1.

We can also find the valency of sodium with the help of a periodic table. as sodium is an element of group 1 which indicated alkali metals group and valency of alkali metals are always 1.

Valence electrons and valency of Na+

Sodium-ion Na+ means it has lost one electron and has only 10 electrons in the orbitals. The electron configuration of neutral Na is 1s22s22p63s1 but in Na+ it loses one electron, so it has a new electron configuration of 1s22s22p6 means Na+ has (2+6=8) outermost electrons which makes it stable. Thus, sodium ion (Na+) has eight valence electrons.

Na+ valency is not zero like noble gas as their outermost shell has eight electrons. when a sodium atom loses one electron, Na+ ion is produced and that’s what valency is. So that Na+ valency is +1 not zero.

Chemical Properties

Sodium (Na) atom
Atomic number11
Number of protons11
Number of electrons11
Electron configuration1s22s22p63s1
Valence electrons1
Valence/Valency1

Sodium-ion (Na+)
Number of electrons10
Electronic configuration1s22s22p6
Valence electrons8
Valence/Valency+1

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