Group IV.: C, Si, Ge, Zr, Th, tetravalent; Ti, tetravalent and hexavalent; Sn, Pb, divalent and tetravalent; Ce, trivalent and tetravalent.
In its chemical affinities zirconium resembles titanium, cerium and thorium; it occurs in company with these elements, and is tetravalent in its more important salts.
Group VI.: 0, usually divalent, but tetravalent and possibly hexavalent in oxonium and other salts; S, Se, Te, di-, tetraand hexa-valent; Cr, di-, triand hexa-valent; Mo, W, di-, tri-, tetra-, pentaand hexa-valent.
Frankland, when in 1858 Kekule published a paper in which, after giving reasons for regarding carbon as a tetravalent element, he set forth the essential features of his famous doctrine of the linking of atoms. He explained that in substances containing several carbon atoms it must be assumed that some of the affinities of each carbon atom are bound by the affinities of the atoms of other elements contained in the substance, and some by an equal number of the affinities of the other carbon atoms. The simplest case is when two carbon atoms are combined so that one affinity of the one is tied to one affinity of the other; two, therefore, of the affinities of the two atoms are occupied in keeping the two atoms together, and only the remaining six are available for atoms of other elements.
In many cases it may be connected with basic oxygen, and the salt formation is assumed to involve the passage of divalent into tetravalent oxygen.