Problem: Cortisol (ℳ = 362.47 g/mol) is a steroid hormone involved in protein synthesis. Medically, it has a major use in reducing inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Cortisol is 69.6% C, 8.34% H, and 22.1% O by mass. What is its molecular formula?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the molecular formula of cortisol given the mass percent of C, O and H. This means we need to do the following steps:


Step 1: Calculate the mass and 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.

Step 3: Get the ratio of the molar mass and empirical mass to determine the molecular formula.


Step 1: Recall that mass percent is given by:


% mass x= mass of Xtotal massx100



Assuming we have 100 g of the compound, this means we have 69.6 g C, 8.34 g H, and 22.1 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

Cortisol (ℳ = 362.47 g/mol) is a steroid hormone involved in protein synthesis. Medically, it has a major use in reducing inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Cortisol is 69.6% C, 8.34% H, and 22.1% O by mass. What is its molecular formula?

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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change - Silberberg 8th Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change - Silberberg 8th Edition practice problems.