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**From percentage to formula
**

The Empirical Formula

**• The lowest whole number ratio of elements in a
**

compound.

• The molecular formula the actual ratio of elements in a

compound

• The two can be the same.

• CH2 empirical formula

• C2H4 molecular formula

• C3H6 molecular formula

• H2O both

Calculating Empirical

• Just find the lowest whole number ratio

• C6H12 O6

• CH4N

• It is not just the ratio of atoms, it is also the

ratio of moles of atoms

• In 1 mole of CO2 there is 1 mole of carbon and

2 moles of oxygen

• In one molecule of CO2 there is 1 atom of C

and 2 atoms of O

Calculating Empirical

• Pretend that you have a 100 gram sample of

the compound.

• That is, change the % to grams.

• Convert the grams to mols for each element.

• Write the number of mols as a subscript in a

chemical formula.

• Divide each number by the least number.

• Multiply the result to get rid of any fractions.

Example

• Calculate the empirical formula of a compound

composed of 38.67 % C, 16.22 % H, and 45.11 %N.

• Assume 100 g so

• 38.67 g C x 1mol C = 3.220 mole C 12.01

gC

• 16.22 g H x 1mol H = 16.09 mole H 1.01 gH

• 45.11 g N x 1mol N = 3.219 mole N 14.01

gN

• 3.220 mole C

• 16.09 mole H

• 3.219 mole N

•C3.22 H16.09 N3.219

**If we divide all of these by the smallest
**

one It will give us the empirical formula

Example

• The ratio is 3.220 mol C = 1 mol C

3.219 molN 1 mol N

• The ratio is 16.09 mol H = 5 mol H

3.219 molN 1 mol N

• C1H5N1 is the empirical formula

• A compound is 43.64 % P and 56.36 % O.

What is the empirical formula?

• 43.6 g P x 1mol P = 1.4 mole P

30.97 gP

• 56.36 g O x 1mol O = 3.5 mole O

16 gO

P1.4 O3.5

Divide both by the lowest one

P1.4 O3.5

**• The ratio is 3.52 mol O = 2.5 mol O
**

1.42 mol P 1 mol P

P1O2.5

• Multiply the result to get rid of any fractions.

2X P1O2.5 = P2O5

• Caffeine is 49.48% C, 5.15% H, 28.87% N

and 16.49% O. What is its empirical

formula?

• 49.48 C

1mol = 4.1mol We divide by

12 g lowest (1mol O)

and ratio

doesn’t change

• 5.15 H 1mol

= 5.2mol

1g

1mol Since they are

• 28.87 N = 2.2mol

14 g close to whole

numbers we will

1mol use this formula

• 16.49 O = 1.0mol

16 g

C4.12 H5.15 N2.1 O1

OR C4H5N2O1

**empirical mass = 97g
**

Empirical to molecular

**• Since the empirical formula is the lowest
**

ratio the actual molecule would weigh

more.

• By a whole number multiple.

• Divide the actual molar mass by the mass

of one mole of the empirical formula.

• Caffeine has a molar mass of 194 g. what

is its molecular formula?

molar mass

• Find x if x =

empirical formula mass

•194 g

=2

•97 g

2X C4H5N2O1

C8H10 N4O2.

Example

**• A compound is known to be composed of
**

71.65 % Cl, 24.27% C and 4.07% H. Its

molar mass is known (from gas density) is

known to be 98.96 g. What is its molecular

formula?

Example

1mol

• 71.65 Cl = 2.0mol

35.5 g

**24.27C 1mol = 2.0mol
**

12 g

4.07 H. 1mol = 4.0mol

1g

• Cl2C2H4 We divide by

lowest (2mol )

•Cl1C1H2

would give an empirical wt of 48.5g/mol

**Its molar mass is known (from gas density)
**

is known to be 98.96 g. What is its molecular

formula?

•

would give an empirical wt of 48.5g/mol

**Its molar mass is known (from gas density)
**

is known to be 98.96 g. What is its molecular

formula?

x=

molar mass 98.96 g

empirical formula mass = =2

48.5 g

2 X Cl1C1H2

= Cl2C2H4

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