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Organic compound molar mass

by A_lilah
Tags: compound, mass, molar, organic
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Jul8-09, 04:11 PM
P: 53
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

We did an experiment in lab today where we were given a compound and we had to figure out the chemical formula and molar mass using titration (titrated with NaOH). The compound I got was phthalic acid, and the average molar mass I got was ~135g. This is about 30 grams off of what everyone else in my group got.

2. Relevant equations

[(M NaOH)(L NaOH)]/2 = moles of phthalic acid (there were two equivalency points, which is why it had to be divided by 2)

moles phthalic acid / mass of sample used = grams of phthalic acid

We were then given the mass percents of each element, and I divided these by the atomic masses of each element, then used the ratio of them to figure out the chemical formula, and whether it was a multiple of the ratios used or not (it was: actual formula = C6H4O2)

My professor said all of my calculations were correct.

3. The attempt at a solution

So my ultimate question is: Why is my molecular mass 30 grams short of everyone else who used phthalic acid? I did the titration 4 times (the 4th time with the TA watching~ an interesting experience), and all 4 times I got between 130 and 137.

Any ideas would be great. Thanks!! :)

(ps~ this may be the wrong place to post this, but I wasn't sure...)
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Jul8-09, 08:52 PM
P: 211
If even your professor has verified all your calculations, then perhaps you can blame a contaminated chemical sample @.@
Jul8-09, 11:15 PM
P: 53
I thought of that too, but the prof said that the samples were all from the same source... good thinking though

Jul9-09, 03:20 AM
Borek's Avatar
P: 23,594
Organic compound molar mass

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Have you used the same titrant others did?
Jul13-09, 04:52 PM
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chemisttree's Avatar
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Which volume of NaOH titratant did you use? The one for the first eq. point or the second?

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