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Molecular Formulas Chemistry

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Molecular Formulas If the empirical formula is different from the molecular formula, the molecular formula will always be a simple multiple of the empirical formula. EX: The empirical formula for hydrogen peroxide is HO; the molecular formula is H2O2. In both formulas, the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen is 1:1

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**Determine the empirical formulas for each of the following molecular formulas.**

3. Hg2Cl2…..______________ 4. C3H6…….______________ 5. Na2C2O4..._____________ 6. H2O......________________ 7. C4H8….._______________ 8. C4H6…..________________ 9. C7H12…._______________ 10. CH3COOH….___________

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**REVIEW: Calculating Empirical Formulas**

Use the following poem to remember the steps: Percent to mass Mass to moles Divide by small Multiply ‘til whole

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EXAMPLE PROBLEM Methyl acetate is a solvent commonly used in some paints, inks, and adhesives. Determine the empirical formula for methyl acetate, which has the following chemical analysis: 48.64% carbon, 8.16% hydrogen, and 43.20% oxygen.

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**Step One: Percent to Mass**

Let’s assume we have a 100. g sample of methyl acetate. This means that each element’s percent is also the number of grams of that element. 48.64% C = g C 8.16% H = 8.16 g H 43.20% O = g O

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Step Two: Mass to Moles Convert each mass into moles using the molar mass of each element. 48.64 g C x 1 mol C = mol C g 8.16 g H x 1 mol H = 8.10 mol H 1.008 g 43.20 g O x 1 mol O = mol O g

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**Step Three: Divide by Small**

Oxygen accounts for the smallest number of moles in the formula, so divide each element by oxygen’s number of moles: mol Carbon: mol / mol = = 1.5 Hydrogen: 8.10 mol / mol = 3.00 = 3 Oxygen: mol / mol = = 1 Remember, we will want whole-number ratios

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**Step Four: Multiply ‘Til Whole**

In the previous slide, the ratio of C:H:O is 1.5:3:1 We need a whole-number ratio, so we can multiply everything by 2 to get rid of the 1.5 C 3, H 6, O 2 So, the final empirical formula is C3H6O2

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**Calculating Molecular Formulas**

Step 1 – Calculate the empirical formula (if needed) Step 2 – GIVEN molecular mass (experimental) calculate the multiplier 𝐸𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝐸𝑚𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝐹𝑜𝑟𝑚𝑢𝑙𝑎 𝑀𝑜𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑀𝑎𝑠𝑠 Step 3 – Multiply the empirical formula subscripts by the multiplier found in Step 2

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EXAMPLE PROBLEM Succinic acid is a substance produced by lichens. Chemical analysis indicates it is composed of % carbon, 5.08% hydrogen, and 52.24% oxygen and has a molar mass of g/mol. Determine the empirical and molecular formulas for succinic acid.

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**Step One: Find Empirical Formula**

40.68 % C = g C x 1mol C = mol C g 5.08 % H = 5.08 g H x 1 mol H = mol H 1.008 g 54.24% O = g O x 1 mol O = mol O g C: H:O 3.387 mol : mol : mol 3.387 mol mol mol 1 : 1.48: 1 1 : 1.5 : 1, multiply by 2 C2H3O2

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**Step Two: Divide Molar Masses**

Molar mass empirical formula (2 x 12.0 g/mol) + (3 x 1.01 g/mol) + (2 x 16.0 g/mol) = 59.0 g/mol Given (experimental) molar mass = g/mol Multiplier = g/mol = 2 59.0 g/mol

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**Step Three: Use Multiplier**

Empirical Formula = C2H3O2 x 2 from step two Molecular formula = C4H6O4

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Practice Question 2 What is the empirical and molecular formula of Vitamin D3 if it contains % C, 11.53% H, and 4.16% O, with a molar mass of g/mol?

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THINKING QUESTIONS 1) What information must a chemist obtain in order to determine the empirical formula of an unknown compound? 2) What information must a chemist have to determine the molecular formula of a compound?

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