Question

# What is the chemical formula of Ferrous sulfate?

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Hint: When the metal that has ‘ous’ suffix behind its name, it suggests the presence of metal in possible lower oxidation state. Sulfate ions have one sulfur atom and four oxygen atoms in their structure.

Here, we are given to write the chemical formula of a chemical compound, Ferrous sulfate.

- You can have an idea from the name of the compound that it is a salt. It is made up of ferrous and sulfate ions. In order to know that it is a salt, you need to know that ferrous and sulfate both are ions. If you know that then we can proceed further for the process of assigning its chemical formula.

- We know that ‘ferrous’ word is used for iron metal’s ionic form which has +2 charge on it. So, we now know that $F{e^{ + 2}}$ is a part of this compound.

- Now, let’s see what sulfate is. Sulfate is an anion which contains one sulfur atom and four oxygen atoms in it. It has an overall charge of -2. It can be expressed chemically as $S{O_4}^{ - 2}$.

- Now to express them combined as a compound chemically, we need not to write the charges on the ions.

- So, if one ferrous ion and one sulfate ion will combine, they will neutralize their charge and the resulting compound will be neutral.

Hence we can write the chemical formula of the ferrous sulfate as $FeS{O_4}$.

Note:
Do not get confused by ferric ions which suggest iron metal in +3 oxidation state. Do not get confused between sulfate, sulfite and sulfide ions which represents $S{O_4}^{2 - },S{O_3}^{2 - }$ and ${S^{2 - }}$ ions respectively.