Can Someone Explain to Me What n Factor/valency Factor is? With Some Examples

By K Balaji|Updated : November 9th, 2022

n factor or valency factor describes the number of electrons which is lost or gained per atom in a redox reaction. The reaction between potassium chromate and iron sulphate and the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate are the few examples.

n Factor or Valency Factor

  • In redox processes, the phrase "n factor" or "valency factor" is employed. It is a term used to express how many electrons per atom are gained or lost during a process.
  • Assume that the displacement reaction between zinc and copper sulphate solution occurs.

Zn (s) + CuSO4 (aq) → ZnSO4 (aq) + Cu(s)

Here Zn loses two electrons to become Zn2+. So the n factor for zinc is 2

  • The reaction between potassium chromate and iron sulphate is another example.

6FeSO4 + K2Cr2O7 + 7H2SO4 → 3Fe2(SO4)3 + K2SO4 + Cr2(SO4)3 + 7H2O

The Fe+2 is oxidized to Fe+3 by losing one electron. So the n factor for FeSO4 is 1

  • If we take into account the subsequent reaction of oxalic acid dissociation, the n factor for an organic acid like oxalic acid.

COOH - COOH → 2CO2 + 2H+ + 2e-

Oxalic acid has two interchangeable hydrogen ions, hence its n factor is two.

Summary:-

Can Someone Explain to Me What N Factor/valency Factor is? With Some Examples

The number of electrons that are lost or acquired per atom in a redox reaction is known as the n factor or valency factor. The few instances include the reactions of zinc and copper sulphate and potassium chromate and iron sulphate.

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