Problem: A compound composed of 2.1% H, 29.8% N, and 68.1% O has a molar mass of approximately 50 g/mol.What is the molecular formula of the compound?

FREE Expert Solution

Molecular formula is a chemical formula that gives the total number of atoms of the elements in a compound.


Empirical formula is a chemical formula that gives the relative proportions of elements in a compound but not the actual number of atoms of elements in a compound.


In this problem, we are provided with mass percentages of H, N and O. The molar mass if given (50 g/mol). We will calculate the empirical formula through these steps:

  • Assuming that the percentages given are masses.
  • Dividing the masses of H, N and O by their average atomic masses.
  • Dividing the obtained numbers by the smallest number among them.
  • Rounding off the final numbers to get coefficients of H, N and O.


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Problem Details

A compound composed of 2.1% H, 29.8% N, and 68.1% O has a molar mass of approximately 50 g/mol.

What is the molecular formula of the compound?

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Empirical Formula concept. You can view video lessons to learn Empirical Formula. Or if you need more Empirical Formula practice, you can also practice Empirical Formula practice problems.