How Many Valence Electrons Does Potassium Have?

How many valence electrons does Potassium have?

Potassium is the second to the last in the first twenty elements. It has an atomic number of 19, and also the same number of electrons.

In this article, you will learn all about Potassium valence electrons, how to find and calculate it using four easy steps!

But before we start, let us take an overview of Potassium!

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a silver-white metal soft enough to be cut with a little knife. Its metal reacts quickly with ambient oxygen in mere seconds of exposure to create flaky white potassium peroxide.

Also, Potassium is one of the group 1 highly reactive alkaline metals with atomic number 11 in the periodic chart. We do not find potassium free because of its strong reactivity to be extracted from various compounds (mostly from salts).

It was first separated from potash, the plant ashes, which is the origin of its name.

Potassium and its structure

The chemical element, Potassium, is one of the alkali metals in a periodic table, all of which contain a single valence electron in the outer electron shell, readily removed to generate a positive charging ion – a cation that interacts with anions to make salts.

It only exists in ionic salts in nature. Elemental potassium reacts vigorously to water, creating enough heat to ignite in the reaction hydrogen and burning with a lilac-colored flame.

We find it dissolved in seawater (0,04% potassium by weight) which is common to granite and other igneous rocks in many minerals, such as orthoclase.

Potassium, the previous element in group 1 of the periodic table, is chemically extremely similar to sodium. They have a comparable initial energy of ionization that permits each atom to give up its only external electron.

In 1702, they were suspected of being separate elements combining comparable salts with the same anions and were proved in 1807 to use electrolysis. Natural potassium comprises three isotopes, of which 40 are isotopes.

Why is Potassium Important?

Before we see Potassium valence electrons, let us look at its importance to both chemistry and man.

K has a radioactive effect. K is in all potassium, and in the human body it is the most prevalent radioisotope.

Potassium ions are essential for all living cells to operate. For proper nerve transmission, we transfer potassium ions across nerve cell membranes;, potassium shortage and excess can both result in multiple indications and signals, including aberrant heart rhythm and other electrocardiographic abnormalities.

Furthermore, excellent dietary sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables. The body responds to dietary potassium influx, which increases the level of serum potassium, with the shift from outside to within cells and increased excretion of potassium from the kidneys.

For instance, potassium soaps, is highly soluble in water for most industrial uses. High crop output rapidly depletes potassium and we may rectify this using potassium-containing agricultural fertilizers accounting for 95% of world potassium production.

As we know how often potassium in chemistry is used, therefore we need to have very excellent information about its electronic characteristics to live in chemistry, and that’s why you are here to know what are Potassium valence electrons and valences?

Valence Electrons: An Overview

The total number of electrons present in the outermost shell of an atom is the valence electrons (i.e. in outermost orbital).

For a neutral atom, the valence electrons are always the same. They cannot vary (more or less) under any conditions and may or may not be equal to their valence.

We define valence as the amount of electrons a bond can lose, gain, or share to achieve a stable electronic configuration to complete an octet. Because of various bonding processes, the valence of an atom may vary in different compounds or in chemical reactions.

How To find the Valence Electrons for Potassium

The valence electrons for potassium are four basic steps:

In order to find the atomic number, proceed with the following steps.

Step 1: Find the number of electrons from the periodic table

You can easily know the atomic number of potassium using the periodic table. From the picture above, you can see that its atomic number is 19.

The number of protons is always equal to 19 electrons, i.e. 19 electrons in the nucleus, since the atomic number is 19 and for neutral potassium.

Step 2: Write Electron Structure

Electron configuration is the way we distribute electrons around the orbitals.

A total of 19 electrons is in the potassium atom, thus we have to put 11 electrons into orbitals.

The initial two electrons are in the 1st orbital, as S orbital can carry only two electrons. It will orbit the following two in 2s and it will orbit the next six electrons in 2p, because P orbital can hold only six electrons.

Again, two electrons will travel into the orbit of 4s in 3s and six in 3p and the remaining one electron.

Step 3: Valence Shell Determination

As we know, we may the define the valence of an atom shell of an atom from the greatest number of quantum numbers expressed in n, and the maximum value in n is 4 so that the valence shell of K is 4.

Step 4: Find the valence electrons of Potassium

The total number of electrons in an atom’s valence shell refers to valence electrons, with just one electron in the Potassium electron valence shell.

Discovering the valency of an atom (the capacity of an atom to connect with other atoms) may occur in several ways.

Valence simply denotes how easily atoms and free radicals may bind to other chemical compounds. We define the valence of an atom according to the number of electrons lost, collected, or shared with a different atom.

When an atom has its outermost shells full of electrons, we say it to be stable (except H and He).

If the total number of electrons in the external shells is 1 to 4, then the atom has a positive valence and if the electrons are 4 to 8, 8 calculate the value, and the valence is negative.

Atoms with 4 outermost electrons have both positive and negative valence, whereas atoms with 8 outermost electrons have zero valencies (i.e. noble gases).

By shedding one outermost electron, Alkali metals achieved stable (the closest inert gas configuration). The valence of Potassium (K) is thus 1.


We can also find the valence electrons using a periodic table. As sodium is a group 1 element, showing that the group of alkali metals and the valence of alkaline metals are always 1.

Potassium-ion K+ implies that one electron it has lost only 18 electrons in the orbits.

The neutral K electron configuration is 1. K+ valence is not zero like noble gas, since it possesses eight electrons in its outermost shell.

Also Read:

Recap on Potassium Valence Electrons

Potassium is a very useful element in chemistry and humans. In this article, we have discussed all about Potassium valence electrons and how to determine it! Do you have questions relating to this topic? Then use the comment box!

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