The octet rule is a ide in chemistry. It permits us to identify the atomic framework of most chemicals. The octet dominion is also used in determining the names and formulas for plenty of chemicals.

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As you might suspect, the octet rule is based on the number 8. The is a direct an effect that the periodic table has actually 8 key columns (the ones near the top).


The routine table is shown listed below with the key 8 columns of the periodic table. These “main” columns space the ones near the top of the table.

The number 1-8 indicates the number of valence electrons for some atom. Atoms room unstable uneven they have 8 valence electrons. Thus, just the noble gasses space “born” to be stable. All other atoms should gain, lose, or share electron to be much more like a noble gas. Stable atoms tend to have actually 8 valence electrons, choose the noble gasses.

The elements in the lower columns in the middle do not have actually numbers, and they generally don’t obey the octet rule.


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Chlorine dioxide is a great example the a molecule that doesn’t follow the octet rule. The formula for chlorine dioxide is ClO2, and also it’s normally taken to mean the chlorine is bonded twice, rather of the usual once. That doesn’t make feeling in regards to the octet rule, as we’d get something follow me the present of 7 + 2 = 9 as soon as counting the chlorine valence electrons. Arg. But it’s a actual molecule, chlorine dioxide. Not all molecule obey the octet rule.

Chlorine dioxide is a little special in not complying with the octet rule. The weird electron count method that there should be an unpaired electron. This unpaired electron accounts for the quite high reactivity of ClO2. As such, chlorine dioxide uses encompass industrial oxidants and also disinfects because that drinking water and also food. The U.S. Food and also Drug administration describes generation and also application of this relatively common chemistry in21CFR173.300. So, it’s failure to follow the octet preeminence doesn’t do chlorine dioxide bad, rarely or useless… it’s a reasonably common, important and also useful chemical.


Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is an additional molecule that doesn’t obey the octet rule. It has sulfur S bonded to 6 fluorine atom F. With two electrons per bond, that makes 12 electrons for sulfur. That’s a bit much more than an octet the 8. So, as a rule, occasionally sulfur can type 6 bonds rather of the regular 2.

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Sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6, is a real chemical. It’s supplied as an electrical insulator within high voltage equipment. Back non-toxic to breathe, SF6canreact to form harmful substances as soon as exposed to certain types of electrical discharges. That alsoacts as a greenhouse gaswhen it ultimately leaks from electrical equipment into the atmosphere. Although it lacks an octet, i beg your pardon usually makes molecules stable, SF6isextremely stable. Sulfur hexafluoride is estimated to float roughly the setting for centuries. Now that’s a secure molecule!


The above describes how the octet rule applies to covalent bonds, as uncovered in molecules. There is a whole 2nd case for just how the octet preeminence apples for ionic bonds.

Click below to learn about ionic compounds and also the other situation for using the octet rule.