How Many Valence Electrons Does Hydrogen (H) Have? [Valency of H & H+]

How Many Valence Electrons Does Hydrogen (H) Have? [Valency of H & H+]

Hydrogen, a chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1, is the lightest element in the periodic table with a standard atomic weight of 1.008. it is one of the most abundant chemical elements found in the universe. About 75% of all baryonic mass are roughly constituting hydrogen.

Hydrogen atom readily forms a covalent bond, it is mostly found in a molecular form on the earth in the form of H2O or most organic compounds. No doubts hydrogen is the most widely used chemical species in the world of chemistry and it is uses literally everywhere in chemistry.

You are here to know valence electrons and the valency of the hydrogen atom, aren’t you? But for this, you have to know what these two terms are, so without wasting your time let’s begin,  

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 may not be equal to its valency.

Hydrogen (H) Valence Electrons

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 chemical reactions due to the different bonding circumstances. Most of the time valency varies/changes due to change in oxidation and reduction states.

Hydrogen (H) Valence Electrons

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

Step 1: Find the Atomic Number

Hydrogen (H) Valence Electrons

To find out the atomic number of hydrogen, we can use the periodic table. With the help of the periodic table, we can easily see that the atomic number of hydrogen is 1. As its atomic number is 1, it has one proton, and for neutral hydrogen, the number of protons is always equal to the number of electrons i.e. has only one electron in its nucleus.

Step 2: Write Electron Configuration

Hydrogen (H) Valence Electrons

Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons on the orbitals. The hydrogen atom has only one electron on its shell, we have to put only one electron in its orbital and that will go in the 1s orbital as the S orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons, and is closer to the nucleus.

Hydrogen electron configuration H (H) = 1s1 (complete configuration).

Step3: 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 1s1, the highest value of n is 1 so that the valence shell of H is 1s1.

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 hydrogen (1s1). Thus, hydrogen has only one valence electron.

Valency of Hydrogen (H)

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 at the time of bond formation.

An atom is said to be stable when its outermost shells have eight electrons (except H & 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 will be zero. Atoms having four outermost electrons possess both positive and negative valency, and atoms having eight outermost electrons, valency will be zero (i.e. noble gases).

Non-metal like hydrogen reaches the stable state (nearest inert gas configuration) by losing one outermost electron. So that the valency of hydrogen (H) is +1.

We can also find the valency of hydrogen with the help of the periodic table. As hydrogen belongs to group 1 along with the alkali metals whose valency is always one.

Note: Hydrogen is not an alkali metal. it is a non-metal but placed in the group of alkali metal in the periodic table based on its valence electron. Never forget chemistry is a science of exceptions.

H+ Valence Electrons

Hydrogen-ion H+ means it has lost one electron and has no electron left on orbitals. The electron configuration of neutral hydrogen is 1s1 but in H+ it loses one electron, so it has no electron left on the outermost shell. Thus, H+ has zero valence electron.

Valency of H+

H+ valency is not zero like noble gases or anything else. Basically, when a hydrogen atom loses one electron, H+ produces and that’s what valency is. So, H+ valency is +1, not zero.

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