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
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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

86% (278 ratings)
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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