Problem: What is the empirical formula of a compound that is 62.0% C, 10.4% H, and 27.5% O by mass?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the empirical formula of a compound that is 62.0% C, 10.4% H, and 27.5% O by mass.


Recall that the empirical formula is the simplest whole-number ratio formula of a compound


This means we need to do the following steps:


Step 1: Calculate the moles of C, H, and O in the compound.

Step 2: Determine the lowest whole number ratio of C, H, and O to get the empirical formula.


Recall that mass percent is given by:


mass percent =mass of elementtotal mass of compoundx 100% 


Assuming we have 100 g of the compound, this means we have  62.0 g C, 10.4 g H, and 27.5 g O. 



Now, we need to get the moles of each element in the compound. The atomic masses are 12 g/mol C, 1 g/mol H, 16 g/mol O.


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Problem Details

What is the empirical formula of a compound that is 62.0% C, 10.4% H, and 27.5% O by mass?

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