Difference Between Anion and Cation

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Main Difference

The main difference between anion and cation is that anion is formed as a result of electrons acquired by atom while cation is formed as a result of electrons released by atom.

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Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionAnionCation
DefinitionAnion is a molecule/atom that is negatively chargedCation is a molecule/atom that is positively charged
ChargeNegative ChargePositive Charge
Electrons and Protons RatioIt has number of electrons than protonsIt has more protons than electrons
FormationIt is formed by non-metal atomsIt is formed by metal atoms
Iconic CompoundsAnions form electrostatic interactions with cations to form ionic compoundsCations form electrostatic interactions with anions to form iconic compounds
Running Conditions0.5-1.5pH units above the pl of the molecule of interest0.5-1.5pH units below the pl of the molecule of interest
ExamplesHydride (H-), Bromide (Br-), Fluoride (F-), Sulfide (S2), Nitride (N3-) and Chloride (Cl-) and Iodide (I-)Lead (Pb2+), Sodium (Na+) and Iron (Fe2+)
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Anion

An anion is kind of ion that contains negative charge. Due to a negative charge, it tends to migrate to the anode in electrolysis. The reason behind the negative charge of anion is that it has a number of electrons as compared to protons. The anion name is formed from the name of the element, but “ide” replaces the normal ending in the elements name. So Cl-­‐ is the ion formed from chlorine, and its name is chloride ion. N-­‐3 is the ion formed from nitrogen, and its name is nitride ion. S-­‐2 is the ion formed from sulfur, and its name is sulfide ion. Sometimes, the names of simple anions are given without “ion,” i.e. chloride, nitride, sulfide. It is usually formed by non-metallic elements to gain the noble gas configuration. Some common examples of anion are Hydride (H-), Bromide (Br-), Fluoride (F-), Sulfide (S2), Nitride (N3-) and Chloride (Cl-) and Iodide (I-).

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Cation

An anion is kind of ion that contains a positive charge. Due to a positive charge, it tends to migrate to the cathode in electrolysis. The reason behind the positive charge of cation is that it has more number of protons as compared to electrons. Cations formed from the metallic elements in Groups III-A – VII A; gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), indium (In), tin (Sn), antimony (Sb), thallium (Tl), lead (Pb), and bismuth (Bi), are named like the transition metals. The nonmetals arsenic (As), tellurium (Te) and selenium (Se) are also named like the transition metals and can form either cations or anions. Some common examples of cation are Lead (Pb2+), Sodium (Na+) and Iron (Fe2+). These are formed by the metal atoms to get the noble gas configuration.

Key Differences

  • Anion analysis is somewhat simpler than cation analysis.
  • The anion is formed as a result of electrons acquired by atom while cation is formed as a result of electrons released by atom.
  • The Anion and cation both are a form of ions. The difference between two is that anion contains the negative charge and has more number of electrons than protons that causes the negative charge while cation contains the positive charge and has more protons than electrons that result in a positive
  • Anions are negatively charged while cations are positively charged.
  • Non-metal atoms normally form anions as compared to cations that are formed by metal atoms.
  • As anions are inclined more towards anode thus generates positive charge while cations are inclined more towards cathode thus generates more negative charge.
  • Both anion and cation contain same protons while anion has two electrons and cation has zero number of electrons in most of the cases.
  • The notation of anion is H that is H- in the case of cation.
  • Anion exchange membrane is OH- conductive while cation exchange membrane is H+ conductive.
  • Anions form electrostatic interactions with cations to form iconic compounds while 0.5-1.5pH units below the pl of the molecule of interest
  • Common examples of anion are Hydride (H-), Bromide (Br-), Fluoride (F-), Sulfide (S2), Nitride (N3-) and Chloride (Cl-) and Iodide (I-) while common examples of cation are Lead (Pb2+), Sodium (Na+) and Iron (Fe2+).
  • Anion has more number of electrons than protons while cation has more number of protons than electrons.
  • The anions name is formed from the name of the element, but ide replaces the normal ending in the elements while in case of cation, naming the element and adding the word ion forms the cation name.

Video Explanation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEQS6o_0sw8