Problem: Propenoic acid, C3H4O2, is a reactive organic liquid that is used in the manufacturing of plastics, coatings, and adhesives. An unlabeled container is thought to contain this liquid. A 0.376-g sample is combusted to produce 0.202 g of water and 0.427 g of carbon dioxide.Calculate the theoretical mass % of C and H in propenoic acid.

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Theoretical mass percent:


%mass=mass element in propenoic acidmolar mass propenoic acid×100


  • Molar mass propenoic acid = 72.06 g/mol
  • Molar mass C in propenoic acid = 3 x 12.01 g/mol
  • Molar mass H in propenoic acid = 4 x 1.01 g/mol
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Problem Details

Propenoic acid, C3H4O2, is a reactive organic liquid that is used in the manufacturing of plastics, coatings, and adhesives. An unlabeled container is thought to contain this liquid. A 0.376-g sample is combusted to produce 0.202 g of water and 0.427 g of carbon dioxide.

Calculate the theoretical mass % of C and H in propenoic acid.

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