Problem: The elemental mass percent composition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is 40.92% C, 4.58% H, and 54.50% O.Determine the empirical formula of ascorbic acid.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the empirical formula of ascorbic acid composed of C, H, and O, given the mass percent of C, H and O.


Recall that the empirical formula is the simplest whole-number ratio formula of a compound


For this problem, 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.


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Problem Details

The elemental mass percent composition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is 40.92% C, 4.58% H, and 54.50% O.

Determine the empirical formula of ascorbic acid.

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