What Is The Valency Of Sulphur?

Are you curious to know what is the valency of sulphur? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about the valency of sulphur in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is the valency of sulphur?

What Is The Valency Of Sulphur?

Sulphur, an essential element in the periodic table, is known for its versatility in forming a wide range of compounds. To understand how sulphur interacts with other elements, scientists use the concept of valency. In this blog, we’ll explore what valency is, why it’s important, and specifically, what the valency of sulphur is.

What Is Valency?

Valency, in chemistry, is a measure of an element’s ability to combine with other elements and form chemical compounds. It tells us how many bonds an atom of a particular element can form when it reacts with other atoms. Valency is a crucial concept as it helps predict the types and numbers of atoms an element can bond with, facilitating the understanding of chemical reactions and compound formation.

Valency Can Be Positive, Negative, Or Zero:

  1. Positive Valency: Elements with positive valency can lose electrons to form positive ions (cations) and typically bond with elements of negative valency (anions).
  2. Negative Valency: Elements with negative valency can gain electrons to form negative ions (anions) and usually bond with elements of positive valency (cations).
  3. Zero Valency: Elements with zero valency neither gain nor lose electrons during chemical reactions, often forming diatomic molecules (e.g., hydrogen, nitrogen).

The Valency Of Sulphur

Sulphur is a versatile element with variable valency, meaning it can exhibit different valencies in different compounds. The most common valencies of sulphur are +2, -2, +4, and +6. Let’s explore these valencies and the compounds they form:

  1. Valency +2: In some compounds, sulphur exhibits a valency of +2. One example is hydrogen sulphide (H2S), where sulphur forms two bonds with two hydrogen atoms.
  2. Valency -2: Sulphur can also exhibit a valency of -2, where it gains two electrons to form a stable ion. This is seen in compounds like sulphides (e.g., iron sulfide, FeS).
  3. Valency +4: In compounds like sulphur dioxide (SO2), sulphur has a valency of +4. It forms two bonds with two oxygen atoms and carries a +4 charge.
  4. Valency +6: Sulphur’s highest common valency is +6, which is observed in compounds like sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). In this compound, sulphur forms six bonds with six fluorine atoms.

Sulphur’s variable valency makes it a critical element in the formation of a wide range of compounds, from simple hydrogen sulphide to complex organosulfur compounds found in biological molecules.

Significance Of Sulphur’s Valency

Understanding the variable valency of sulphur is vital for various applications:

  1. Environmental Chemistry: Knowledge of sulphur’s valency is crucial in understanding the chemistry of pollutants like sulfur dioxide (SO2) and their environmental impact.
  2. Chemical Synthesis: In chemical synthesis, the valency of sulphur is used to predict and control reactions in the creation of new compounds.
  3. Organic Chemistry: Sulphur’s role in organic molecules, such as amino acids (e.g., cysteine and methionine), hinges on its valency.
  4. Industrial Processes: Sulphur compounds are involved in many industrial processes, including the production of sulfuric acid and the vulcanization of rubber.


Sulphur’s variable valency is a testament to its versatility in forming a wide range of compounds with various elements. This property allows sulphur to participate in diverse chemical reactions and be an essential component in biological molecules, environmental chemistry, and various industrial processes. Understanding sulphur’s valency is a fundamental aspect of chemistry that helps researchers and scientists unlock its potential in various applications.

Empower Your Knowledge By Visiting Techyxl.


Why Is Sulphur 4 Valency?

So, generally, the valency of Sulphur must be 2, but it can show multiple valencies as well. In Sulphur dioxide, Sulphur is bonded to 2 oxygen atoms. Oxygen is more electronegative than Sulphur and thus, shows a fixed valency of 2. As a result each oxygen forms two bonds with the Sulphur atom making its valency 4.

Is Sulphur A Valency 6?

The sulphur atom has 6 electrons in the outermost shell, and its valency could be 6. But it is easier for sulphur to gain two electrons instead of losing six electrons. Hence, its valency is determined by subtracting six electrons from the octet and this gives a valency of two for sulphur.

Why Is Valency Of Sulphur 6?

The first shell can have a maximum of 2 electrons, and the second shell a maximum of 8 electrons. Now the third shell has the remaining 6 electrons. (The third shell can have a maximum of 18 electrons). Therefore, sulphur has 6 valence electrons.

Can Sulphur Have A Valency Of 4?

It has 6 atoms in the outermost shell and it needs only two electrons from another atom in bonding to complete its octet. For two atoms of oxygen we need in total four electrons. Therefore, in this case in $S{O_2}$ molecule the valency of sulphur is +4.

I Have Covered All The Following Queries And Topics In The Above Article

What Is The Valency Of Sulphur In So2

What Is The Valency Of Sulphur Class 9

What Is The Valency Of Chlorine

Valency Of Oxygen

Why The Valency Of Sulphur Is 2, 4 6

Valency Of Phosphorus

Valency Of Silicon

Valency Of Nitrogen

What Is The Valency Of Sulphur

Why is sulphur 4 valency

Is the valency of sulphur is 2