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1 mol of paper - how much is that?

  1. Apr 26, 2015 #1
    My question is a bit chemically, but...
    What's the atoms, whats makes the paper?
    How many paper i get from 1 mol of atoms, what contains the paper?
    How many grams, or pieces of A/4 size papers?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2015 #2


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    Hi ecet. Welcome to PF.

    Let's start with the mole (not 'mol'). Can you tell us what is your understanding of its definition? What does a 1 mole of something mean?
  4. Apr 26, 2015 #3
    In order to know the mass of 1 mole of paper you first have to know the chemical composition of paper. Paper is a composite of various materials so it would be difficult to calculate.
  5. Apr 27, 2015 #4
    Oh, sorry, I'm from Hungary, and there it's mol, and I haven't read this word in Englis, so, yes, 1 mole of paper.
    I meant, that how many paper can I get from 6x10^23 pieces of atoms? I know, it contains a lot's of type of atoms, maybe carbon, oxigen, hydrogen, ect...
    If it were known (for me), that what types of atoms paper made of, and how many is the ratio of each other, than I maybe can calculate, that how much of the mass of the atoms, what I "use to build some paper from them".
    I know, it's not a practical usefulness, but I've thinked about that, it's just theoretical :)
  6. Apr 27, 2015 #5


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    It's called 'mole' in English, but the SI unit symbol is 'mol', so it's easy to get confused. It's of little importance though.

    O.k. So, you know that the mole is an amount of something.
    In any definition of the mole you'll see that 1 mole of pure Carbon-12 atoms weights 12 grams (or, equivalently, 1 mole is as many entities as in 12g of C-12).
    If we assume that paper is made 100% of cellulose (to make it simple), which in turn is made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen: C6H10O5. That's 21 atoms per molecule, altogether weighing roughly the same as 14 Carbon-12 atoms.

    So, if you were to ask 'how much paper I'd get from a mole of cellulose molecules', that'd be about 14*12=168 grams. If you were to ask how 'much paper from individual atoms, in appropriate proportions to make cellulose' that'd be 21 times less (since it's 21 atoms per molecule): 168/21=8 grams.

    For comparison, a typical A4 sheet weighs about 5 grams.

    These are rough numbers, since paper is not 100% cellulose, and its molecular weight in not exactly the same as 14 C-12 atoms, but the difference shouldn't be much.
    If you care for more precision you can just research more exact composition and follow the same line of thinking.
  7. Apr 29, 2015 #6
    An added difficulty is that cellulose is a polymer with each molecule averaging 1000 or so monomer units. This would increase the weight of a mole of paper by 1000 over that stated above.
  8. Apr 30, 2015 #7
    Based on your details, I tried to calculate the same way, and it's around your result: 7,7179... grams, what's around your result.
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