Problem: What ions are present in NaCl, Na 2CO3, MgSO4, and NH4Cl?

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We need to break down the following ionic compounds into ions

  • NaCl 
  • Na2CO3
  • MgSO4
  • NH4Cl

Recall that an ionic compound is composed of a positive ion called a cation connected to a negative ion called an anion.

In writing their chemical formula, the charge of the cation becomes the subscript of the anion, while the charge of the anion becomes the subscript of the cation

It is also helpful to remember the common charges of common cations/anions:

  1. Group 1A cations have a charge = +1
  2. Group 2A cations have a charge = +1
  3. Group 7a anions have a charge = -1
  4. For polyatomic ions:
    • NH4 = +1
    • CO3 = -2
    • SO4 = -2
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Problem Details

What ions are present in NaCl, Na 2CO3, MgSO4, and NH4Cl?

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