   Chapter 3, Problem 92E

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Maleic acid is an organic compound composed of 41.39% C, 3.47% H, and the rest oxygen. If 0.129 mole of maleic acid has a mass of 15.0 g, what are the empirical and molecular formulas of maleic acid?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The mass (in %) of each element carbon and hydrogen is given. Also number of moles and mass of maleic acid is given. By using these values, the molecular and empirical formula of maleic acid is to be calculated.

Concept introduction: The empirical formula is a formula which gives elemental composition of a compound. It is the smallest whole number ratio of atoms of each element.

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

To determine: The empirical formula of maleic acid.

Explanation

Given

The percentage composition of carbon (C) is 41.39% .

The percentage composition of hydrogen (H) is 3.47% .

The given compound is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. A 100.00g of the maleic acid contains 41.39g of C , 3.47g of H . The mass of oxygen is,

100.00g(41.39g+3.47g)=55.14g

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

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

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

Formula

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

Molesofatom=GivenmassofatomAtomicmass                                                          (1)

Substitute the values of mass and atomic mass of hydrogen in above equation.

MolesofH=GivenmassofHAtomicmass=(3.471.008)mol=3.442mol

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

MolesofC=GivenmassofCAtomicmass=(41.3912.01)mol=3.446mol

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

MolesofO=GivenmassofOAtomicmass=(55.1435.45)mol=3.446mol

The empirical formula is calculated by dividing each mole by the least value of number of moles. The least value of number of moles is 3.442 .

For O atom,

3.4463

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