Problem: Menthol, the substance we can smell in mentholated cough drops, is composed of C, H, and O. A 0.1106 -mg sample of menthol is combusted, producing 0.3112 mg of CO2 and 0.1275 mg of H2 O. What is the empirical formula for menthol?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the empirical formula of a compound composed of C, H, and O given the combustion analysis.


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


This means we need to do the following steps:

Step 1: Calculate the mass of C and H in the compound.

Step 2: Calculate the mass of O in the compound.

Step 3: Determine the lowest whole number ratio of C, H, and O to get the empirical formula.


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Problem Details

Menthol, the substance we can smell in mentholated cough drops, is composed of C, H, and O. A 0.1106 -mg sample of menthol is combusted, producing 0.3112 mg of CO2 and 0.1275 mg of H2 O. What is the empirical formula for menthol?

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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 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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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Wiginton's class at OLE MISS.