# Empirical and Molecular Formulas

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Empirical and Molecular Formulas

Definitions Empirical Formula: the lowest whole number ratio of elements in a compound. It can be determined from experimental data (either mass composition or % composition) Molecular Formula: a formula which describes the actual molecule. May be the same as the empirical formula or a whole # multiple of it

Empirical Molecular NaCl MgCl2 H20 CH4 CH HO CH2O
None H20 CH4 C6H6 H2O2 C6H12O6

To find an empirical formula
A. When given a mass of each element: Convert grams to moles (use at least 3 significant figures) Find small whole numbers ratio of moles. (if ratio is not obvious, divide by the smallest) B. When given percentage of each element: Assume sample size is 100 grams Proceed as above

Example A sample was analyzed and found to contain 24.0 grams of nitrogen 4.0 grams of hydrogen. What is the empirical formula?

An experimental analysis gives the following data for a sample of Freon: .423 g C: 1.34 g F: 2.5 g Cl. What is the empirical formula?

To find a molecular formula
Find the empirical formula Find the molar mass of the empirical formula (called empirical mass) Divide the given molecular mass (given)by the empirical mass. This answer will give the appropriate multiple.

Examples The empirical formula of a certain nitrogen compound was found to be NO2. The molecular mass is 92.0 g/mol. What is the molecular formula?

A certain compound was found to contain 84. 98% mercury and 15
A certain compound was found to contain 84.98% mercury and 15.02% chlorine. Its molecular mass is Find the empirical formula and the molecular formula.