I"m confused due to the fact that when ns draw every one of the Os enclosed with single bonds to p the formal charges don"t do sense. However when I add a double bond to one of the Os the formal charges space -1 come 3 the the oxygens. I"m puzzled if there must be a dual bond or not for the PO4 3- structure.


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If we begin at the beginning by drawing the Lewis dot structure we start with valence electrons.

You are watching: Lewis dot structure for po4 3

P has 5 ve

each O has 6 ve for this reason that"s a full of 4x6 = 24 ve

We include 3 an ext for the 3- fee for a total of 32 valence electrons

So, this can be written through P in ~ the center and also 4 O atoms attached with solitary bonds and also all O atoms would have actually 3 lone pairs. This arrangement gives a formal charge of +1 ~ above P and -1 on every O atoms. No good.

Adding a twin bond to among the O atoms results in a formal fee of zero ~ above P, zero ~ above the O with the double bond, and also -1 ~ above the various other 3 O atoms. This is fine since the fee on the phosphate anion is 3- and so the -1 on every of 3 oxygens accounts because that this. Friend shouldn"t it is in confused since you have done the correctly. Also recall the P deserve to have an increased octet (which the does in the dot framework we just drew).


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