   Chapter 3, Problem 85E

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

A compound that contains only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen is 48.64% C and 8.16% H by mass. What is the empirical formula of this substance?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The mass percentage of carbon and hydrogen in a compound is given. By using these values, the empirical formula is to be calculated.

Concept introduction: The smallest whole number ratio of atoms in a compound is known as empirical formula.

The formula that gives the number of atoms present in a molecule is known as molecular formula.

To determine: The empirical formula of the compound that contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Explanation

Given

The percentage composition of carbon (C) is 48.64% .

The percentage composition of hydrogen (H) is 8.16% .

The atomic mass of carbon (C) is 12.01g .

The atomic mass of oxygen (O) is 15.999g .

The atomic mass of hydrogen (H) is 1.008g .

Since the total percentage of the compound containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen is 100% . Therefore, percentage composition of oxygen (O) is,

100%(48.64+8.16)%=43.2%

Formula

The number of moles of each element in 100.0g of compound is calculated by using the formula,

Molesofatom=Masspercentofatom×1molofatomAtomicmass (1)

Substitute the values of mass percent and atomic mass of carbon in above equation.

MolesofC=MasspercentofC×1molofCAtomicmassofC=48.64g×1molofC12.01g=4.050mol

Substitute the values of mass percent and atomic mass of hydrogen in equation (1).

MolesofH=MasspercentofH×1molofHAtomicmassofH=8

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