Problem: A compound contains only C, H, and N. Combustion of 35.0 mg of the compound produces 33.5 mg CO2 and 41.1 mg H2O. What is the empirical formula of the compound?

FREE Expert Solution
  • Determine the empirical formula by calculating the moles of C, H and N present in the compound. This can be calculated using the provided mass of CO2 and H2O
  • We can directly assume that all the C in the compound are converted to CO2 while the Hs go to H2O
  • Establish a relationship using stoichiometry to get the moles of C and O. 
  • Mass of N (eventually moles) can be calculated once we already have the mass of C and H
  • 1 mole CO2 contains 1 mole C while H2O contains 2 moles of H. Calculation of mass and mole of C will appear as:

molar mass of CO2

C - 12.01 (1) = 12.01

O - 16 (2) = 32

12.01 + 32 = 44.01 g/mol

molar mass of H2O:

H - 1.01 (2) = 2.02

O - 16 (1) = 16

16 + 2.02 = 18.02 g/mol

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Problem Details

A compound contains only C, H, and N. Combustion of 35.0 mg of the compound produces 33.5 mg CO2 and 41.1 mg H2O. What is the empirical formula of the compound?

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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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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition practice problems.