Problem: The characteristic odor of pineapple is due to ethyl butyrate, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Combustion of 3.06 mg of ethyl butyrate produces 6.95 mg of CO2 and 2.84 mg of H2 O. What is the empirical formula of the compound?

FREE Expert Solution

Recall that in combustion analysisa compound reacts with excess O2 to form products

For a compound composed of C, H, and O, the reaction looks like this:


CxHyOz + O2 (excess)  x CO2y H2O


mole-to-mole comparison:

  • 1 mole of C in 1 mole of CO(molar mass = 44.01 g/mol or mg/mmol)
  • 2 moles of H in 1 mole of H2(molar mass = 18.02 mg/mmol)


Finding the mass of C and H:


mass of C=6.95 mg CO2×1 mmol CO244.01 mg CO2×1 mmol C1 mmol CO2×12.01 mg C1 mmol C

mass of C = 1.897 mg C


mass of H=2.84 mg H2O×1 mmol H2O18.02 mg H2O×2 mmol H1 mmol H2O×1.01 mg H1 mmol H

mass of H = 0.318 mg H


mass of O = 3.06 mg – (1.897 mg C + 0.318 mg H) = 0.8446 mg O


View Complete Written Solution
Problem Details

The characteristic odor of pineapple is due to ethyl butyrate, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Combustion of 3.06 mg of ethyl butyrate produces 6.95 mg of CO2 and 2.84 mg of H2 O. What is the empirical formula of the compound?

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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.