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What is a multivalent metal?

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A multivalent metal is an element that forms more than one type of an electrically charged particle known as ion. Metals have the tendency to form cations by losing electrons and becoming positively charged.

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In the periodic table of elements, the transition and the right-most metals are multivalent metals. Some of these metallic elements include chromium, copper, cobalt, iron, mercury, manganese, tin, lead and bismuth. The most commonly occurring multivalent metals are copper and iron. Copper ions can either have a +1 or +2 charge, while iron ions can have a +2 or +3 charge. Metals that are not multivalent are called simple metals.

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