Problem: The following diagram represents the collection of CO2 and H2O molecules formed by complete combustion of a hydrocarbon.What is the empirical formula of the hydrocarbon?

🤓 Based on our data, we think this question is relevant for Professor Sommer's class at MIAMIOH.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the empirical formula of a hydrocarbon from the combustion diagram above.

Recall that in combustion analysis, a hydrocarbon reacts with excess O2 to form products. 

For a compound composed of C ad H the reaction looks like this:


CxHy + O2 (excess) x CO2 + y H2O


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Problem Details
The following diagram represents the collection of CO2 and H2O molecules formed by complete combustion of a hydrocarbon.

5 H2O and 4 CO2 molecules.

What is the empirical formula of the hydrocarbon?

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Molecular Models concept. If you need more Molecular Models practice, you can also practice Molecular Models practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Sommer's class at MIAMIOH.