   Chapter 4, Problem 31PS

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Styrene, the building block of polystyrene, consists of only C and H. If 0.438 g of styrene is burned in oxygen and produces 1.481 g of CO2 and 0.303 g of H2O, what. is the empirical formula of styrene?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The empirical formula of styrene should be determined.

Concept introduction:

• Empirical formula of a compound represents the smallest whole number relative ratio of elements in that compound.
• Equation for finding Molecular formula from the empirical formula,

MolarmassEmpiricalformula mass × Empirical formula

• The molar mass of an element or compound is the mass in grams of 1 mole of that substance, and it is expressed in the unit of grams per mol (g/mol).
Explanation

From the given masses the amount of CO2andH2O can be calculated.

Thus, amount of CO2andH2O isolated from the combustion are,

1.481gCO2×1molCO244.010gCO2=0.03365molCO20.303gH2O×1molH2O18.015gH2O=0.01681molH2O

For every mole of CO2 isolated, 1 mol of C must have been present in the styrene compound.

So,

0.03365molCO2×1molCinunknown1molCO2=0

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