# What is the Ionic Charge of Lead (Pb)? And Why?

The common Ionic Charges of Lead (Pb) are 2+ and 4+.

But the question is how can you find the ionic charge on Lead (Pb)?

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

The ionic charge of lead (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 Lead (Pb) 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 Lead (Pb)?

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

So let’s take examples of compounds of Lead (Pb) like PbCl2, PbCl4, PbO, etc.

Example 1: PbCl2
In PbCl2, the Lead (Pb) 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 Pb should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Lead in PbCl2 is 2+.

Example 2: PbCl4
In PbCl4, the Lead (Pb) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
And again, you know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So here also you can easily say that the ionic charge of Pb should be 4+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Lead in PbCl4 is 4+.

Example 3: PbO
Similarly in PbO, the Lead (Pb) is bonded to Oxygen (O).
And you know that the ionic charge of O is 2-.
So from this, you can easily say that the ionic charge of Pb should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Lead in PbO is 2+.

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

But as seen from the above examples,
The most common charges of Lead (Pb) are 2+ and 4+.

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

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Author
##### Jay Rana

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 learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.