Problem: Determine the empirical and molecular formulas of each of the following substances.Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer in certain foods, contains 35.51% C, 4.77% H, 37.85% O, 8.29% N, and 13.60% Na, and has a molar mass of 169 g/mol.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the molecular formula of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a compound composed of C, H, O, N and Na given their mass percent


This means we need to do the following steps:


Step 1: Calculate the mass and moles of C, H, O, N and Na in the compound.

Step 2: Determine the lowest whole number ratio of C, H, O, N and Na to get the empirical formula.

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


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Problem Details

Determine the empirical and molecular formulas of each of the following substances.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer in certain foods, contains 35.51% C, 4.77% H, 37.85% O, 8.29% N, and 13.60% Na, and has a molar mass of 169 g/mol.

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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.