Problem: Determine the empirical formula for a hydrocarbon if the complete combustion of a sample produces 5.28 g of CO2 and 1.62 g of H2O. 

FREE Expert Solution
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 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

Determine the empirical formula for a hydrocarbon if the complete combustion of a sample produces 5.28 g of CO2 and 1.62 g of H2O.

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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 Combustion Analysis concept. You can view video lessons to learn Combustion Analysis. Or if you need more Combustion Analysis practice, you can also practice Combustion Analysis practice problems.

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