Problem: An unknown compound contains only carbon and hydrogen. When it undergoes combustion analysis, it produces 3.767 g of CO2 and 0.616 g of H2O. What is the empirical formula? a. C7H14 b. CH4 c. C2H3d. CHe. C5H4

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the empirical formula of a compound composed of C and H given the combustion analysis.


Recall that in combustion analysisa compound reacts with excess O2 to form products. For a compound composed only of C and H, the reaction looks like this:


CxHy + O2 (excess)  x CO2y/2 H2O


This means we need to do the following steps:

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

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


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Problem Details

An unknown compound contains only carbon and hydrogen. When it undergoes combustion analysis, it produces 3.767 g of CO2 and 0.616 g of H2O. What is the empirical formula? 

a. C7H14 

b. CH4 

c. C2H3

d. CH

e. C5H4

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

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