Group 16 Elements

Group 16 of the periodic table contains Oxygen, sulphur, selenium, tellurium and polonium 


  • Oxygen is the most abundant of all the elements on earth. Oxygen forms about 46.6% by mass of earth’s crust. Dry air contains 20.946% oxygen by volume
  • Sulphur in the earth’s crust is only 0.03-0.1%. Sulphur exists primarily as sulphates such as gypsum CaSO4.2H2O, epsom salt MgSO4.7H2O, baryte BaSO4 and sulphides such as galena PbS, zinc blende ZnS, copper pyrites CuFeS2
  • Selenium and tellurium are also found as metal selenides and tellurides in sulphide ores.   
  • Polonium occurs in nature as a decay product of thorium and uranium minerals

Electronic Configuration

  • Group16 elements have six electrons in the outermost shell
  • Their general electronic configuration is 

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