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# Empirical and Molecular

formulae

## Dr. ABDALLA AHMED ELBASHIR

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT
UNIVERSITY of KHARTOUM
Determining formulae
The percentage composition of a compound
leads directly to its empirical formula.

## Recall: An empirical formula for a compound is

the formula of a substance written with the
smallest integer subscripts.

## Eg. Consider hydrogen peroxide:

Molecular formula = H2O2
Empirical formula = HO

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Types of Formulas
The formulas for compounds can be expressed
as an empirical formula and as a molecular
(true) formula.
Empirical Molecular (true) Name
CH C 2H 2 acetylene
CH C 6H 6 benzene
CO2 CO2 carbon dioxide
CH2O C5H10O5 ribose

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Compounds with different molecular
formulae can have the same empirical
formula, and such substances will have
the same percentage composition.

## Eg. acetylene = C2H2

benzene = C6H6
both have the empirical formula = ?

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Empirical Formulas

definition for each of the
following:
Empirical formula

Molecular formula
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• An empirical formula represents
the simplest whole number ratio
of the atoms in a compound.

## • The molecular formula is the

true or actual ratio of the atoms
in a compound.

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Learning Check EF-1

## A. What is the empirical formula for C4H8?

1) C2H4 2) CH2 3) CH
B. What is the empirical formula for C8H14?
1) C4H7 2) C6H12 3) C8H14

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Solution EF-1
A. What is the empirical formula for C4H8?
2) CH2
B. What is the empirical formula for
C8H14?
1) C4H7

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Learning Check EF-2
If the molecular formula has 4 atoms
of N, what is the molecular formula if
SN is the empirical formula? Explain.
1) SN
2) SN4
3) S4N4

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Solution EF-2
If the molecular formula has 4 atoms of
N, what is the molecular formula if SN is
the empirical formula? Explain.

3) S4N4
If the actual formula has 4 atoms of N,
and S is related 1:1, then there must also
be 4 atoms of S.

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Empirical and Molecular Formulas

## molar mass = a whole number = n

simplest mass
n = 1 molar mass = empirical mass
molecular formula = empirical formula
n = 2 molar mass = 2 x empirical mass
molecular formula = 2 x empirical formula

## molecular formula = or > empirical formula

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Empirical Molecular
Formula Formula

Empirical Molecular
Mass Mass

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Empirical formula
Consider the following from Composition
flow-diagram:
Percent composition

Mass Composition

Number of moles of
each element

## Divide by smallest number of

moles to find the molar ratios

## Multiply by appropriate number to

get whole number subscripts 13
A compound has a formula mass of 176.0
and an empirical formula of C3H4O3. What
is the molecular formula ? (C=12, O=16,
H=1)

1) C3H4O3
2) C6H8O6
3) C9H12O9

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A compound has a formula mass of 176.0
and an empirical formula of C3H4O3. What
is the molecular formula?

2) C6H8O6
C3H4O3 = 88.0 g/EF
176.0 g = 2.00
88.0

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If there are 192.0 g of O in the
molecular formula, what is the true
formula if the EF is C7H6O4?
1) C7H6O4
2) C14H12O8
3) C21H18O12

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If there are 192.0 g of O in the
molecular formula, what is the true
formula if the EF is C7H6O4?
3) C21H18O12
192 g O = 3 x O4 or 3 x C7H6O4
64.0 g O in EF

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Finding the Molecular Formula
A compound is Cl 71.65%, C 24.27%,
and H 4.07%. What are the empirical and
molecular formulas? The molar mass is
known to be 99.0 g/mol. (Cl = 35.5, C=12,
H=1.01)

## 1. State mass percents as grams in a

100.00-g sample of the compound.
Cl : 71.65 g C: 24.27 g H: 4.07 g
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2. Calculate the number of moles of each
element.
71.65 g Cl x 1 mol Cl = 2.02 mol Cl
35.5 g Cl

12.0 g C

## 4.07 g H x 1 mol H = 4.04 mol H

1.01 g H
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Why moles?
Why do you need the number of
moles of each element in the
compound?

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3. Find the smallest whole number ratio by
dividing each mole value by the smallest
mole values:
Cl: 2.02 = 1 Cl
2.02

C: 2.02 = 1C
2.02

H: 4.04 = 2H
2.02
4. Write the simplest or empirical formula
CH2Cl 21
5. EM (empirical mass)
= 1(C) + 2(H) + 1(Cl) = 49.5

## Molar mass = 99.0 g/mol = n=2

EM 49.5 g/EM

7.Molecular formula
(CH2Cl)2 = C2H4Cl2
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Aspirin is 60.0% C, 4.5 % H and 35.5
O. Calculate its simplest formula.
In 100 g of aspirin, there are 60.0 g
C, 4.5 g H, and 35.5 g O.

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60.0 g C x ___________= ______ mol C

## 35.5 g O x ___________ = _______mol O

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60.0 g C x 1 mol C = 5.00 mol C
12.0 g C

1.01 g H

## 35.5 g O x 1mol O = 2.22 mol O

16.0 g O

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Divide by the smallest # of moles.
5.00 mol C = ________________
______ mol O

______ mol O

## 2.22 mol O = ________________

______ mol O
Are are the results whole numbers?_____

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Divide by the smallest # of moles.
5.00 mol C = ___2.25__
2.22 mol O

2.22 mol O

## 2.22 mol O = ___1.00__

2.22 mol O
Are are the results whole numbers?_____
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Finding Subscripts
A fraction between 0.1 and 0.9 must not
be rounded. Multiply all results by an
integer to give whole numbers for
subscripts.
(1/2) 0.5 x2 = 1
(1/3) 0.333 x3 = 1
(1/4) 0.25 x4 = 1
(3/4) 0.75 x4 = 3

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Multiply everything x 4

## C: 2.25 mol C x 4 = 9 mol C

H: 2.0 mol H x 4 = 8 mol H
O: 1.00 mol O x 4 = 4 mol O

## Use the whole numbers of mols as the

subscripts in the simplest formula

C9H8O4
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A compound is 27.4% S, 12.0%
N and 60.6 % Cl. If the compound
has a molar mass of 351 g/mol,
what is the molecular formula?

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0.853 mol S /0.853 = 1 S
0.857 mol N /0.853 = 1 N
1.71 mol Cl /0.853 = 2 Cl
Empirical formula = SNCl2 = 117.1 g/EF

## Mol. Mass/ Empirical mass 351/117.1 = 3

Molecular formula = S3N3Cl6

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STRUCTURAL FORMULA
The atoms in a molecule are connected or
chemically bonded in a precise way. A SF.
Shows how the atoms in a molecule are
arranged.

## For ex: H2O H-O-H

C2H6 CH3 H-C- C- H
H H

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Empirical formula
•The simplest whole number ratio of atoms of
elements in a compound, described with the use of
subscripts.
•Ionic compounds are always shown as empirical
formulas.
Molecular Formula
The actual numbers of atoms in a molecule.
Structural Formula
Show the relative arrangements of atoms in a
molecule

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Timberlake LecturePLUS 34
HYDRATES
Solids which are found in combined
form with water in definite proportion
are called as HYDRATES. When
hydrates are heated, H2O evaporates,
and only solid is obtained in
amorphous .
(w/o a certain geometric structure,
generally in powdered form. H2O
molecules surround ionic substances
with certain amounts.
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WATER OF HYDRATION : Water molecules of a hydrate.

## • Na2CO3.10H2O Na2CO3(s) + 10H2O(g)

• DEHYDRATION: Evaporation of water of hydration.
• Na2CO3.10H2O,
• CaSO4.2H2O,
• CuSO4.5H2O

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