What is the Ionic Charge of Cobalt (Co)? And Why?

Charge of Cobalt (Co)

The common Ionic Charges of Cobalt (Co) are 2+ and 3+.

But the question is how can you find the ionic charge on Cobalt (Co)?

Well, cobalt is a transition element and all the transition and post-transition elements have a variable ionic charge.

The ionic charge of cobalt (or any other transition or post transition elements) depends on what it is bonded with.

So let’s try to find out the ionic charge of Cobalt (Co) using some examples.

If you are a visual learner like me, then here is a short two minute video for you.

How to find the ionic charge of Cobalt (Co)?

As I mentioned earlier, the ionic charge of Cobalt (Co) can be found out by looking at what it is bonded with.

So let’s take examples of compounds of Cobalt (Co) like CoCl2, CoO, CoCl3, etc.

Example 1: CoCl2
In CoCl2, the Cobalt (Co) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
You know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So you can easily say that the ionic charge of Co should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Cobalt in CoCl2 is 2+.

Example 2: CoO
In CoO, the Cobalt (Co) is bonded to Oxygen (O).
And again, you know that the ionic charge of O is 2-.
So here also you can easily say that the ionic charge of Co should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Cobalt in CoO is 2+.

Example 3: CoCl3
Similarly in CoCl3, the Cobalt (Co) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
And you know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So from this, you can easily say that the ionic charge of Co should be 3+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Cobalt in CoCl3 is 3+.

In this way, Cobalt can have variable charges depending on what it is bonded to.

But as seen from the above examples,
The most common charges of Cobalt (Co) are 2+ and 3+.

I hope you have understood why cobalt has variable ionic charges.

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Related topics:
Charge of Nickel (Ni)
Charge of Chromium (Cr)
Charge on SO3
Charge on CO2
Charge on H2O (Water) 

Author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online chemistry learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.

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