What Is the Chemical Formula for Salt?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 16, 2020 4:34:33 PM ET

The chemical formula for salt is NaCl. Salt consists of one atom of sodium combined with one atom of chlorine. The scientific name for salt is sodium chloride.

Salt is an ionic compound made up of sodium and chloride ions. Sodium is an electron donor because it tends to give away the single electron in its outermost energy level. On the other hand, chlorine is an electron acceptor; with seven electrons in its outermost energy level, chlorine needs one more electron to achieve a stable configuration. Once an electron is transferred from sodium to chlorine, a positive sodium ion and a negative chlorine ion are formed. These two opposite charges attract one another. The strength of this ionic bond yields the crystalline structure of salt and gives it a high melting point.