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Ternary Compounds Examples

April 26, 2013

Introduction to ternary compounds examples:

The ternary compounds are compounds containing three different elements. Sodium phosphate, Na3PO4 is an example of ternary compound. In Na3PO4 sodium ion has a charge of 1+ and the phosphate ion has a charge of 3-. So, three sodium ions are needed to balance the charge of one phosphate ion. 


                                                             Structure of Sodium phosphate

                                                     Structure of Sodium phosphate

Sodium Chlorate (NaClO3) has -Sodium (Na) -Chlorine (Cl) -Oxygen (O), so it is also a ternary compound.

Examples of Ternary Compounds

Potassium hydroxide; KOH

The symbols for the monatomic and polyatomic ions in the compound are.  Potassium = K      ; Hydroxide = OH. Oxidation numbers of the ions involved are written in superscripts to the right of the elemental symbols. i.e.

Potassium = K+   Hydroxide = OH Since, (+1) + (-1) = 0.  Therefore, only one of each ion is used.  No subscripts are compulsory.

Sodium phosphate Na3PO4

Sodium Chlorate (NaClO3) etc

Types of Ternary Compounds

If one of the compounds is metal, it is used first and there is oxygen along with another non-metal, then the suffix – ate is added with the name of the other KClO3 – Potassium chlorate.

If there is new more compound formed with the same elements, but with a lesser number of oxygen then suffix – ite is used.  e.g. Potassium chlorite; KClO2.

If the third compound is formed, with less number of oxygen atoms, then, it is called – hypo chlorite.e.g.   Potassium hypochlorite ; KClO –. The most common types of ternary compounds are metallic cation (positive ion) and polyatomic anion (negative ion). The only commonly used polyatomic ion with a positive charge is the ammonium ion.

Examples of common anions used for ternary compounds:

Suffix – ate  Suffix – ite
Chlorate – ClO3 Chlorite – ClO2
Nitrate – NO3 Nitrite – NO2
Sulphate – SO4 Sulphite – SO3
Phosphate – PO4 Phosphite  – PO3
Carbonate – CO3
Silicate – SiO3
Oxalate – (COO)2
Acetate – CH3COO
Aluminate – AlO2
Zincate – ZnO2
Plumbate – PbO2
Chromate – CrO4
Manganate – MnO4



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