# Empirical Formula from Stoichiometry?

• jacksonpeeble
In summary, the conversation discusses the process of determining the empirical and molecular formulas for adipic acid, a compound used in the production of synthetic fabrics. The formula is determined by using stoichiometry to calculate the mole ratio of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen in the compound, based on the masses of carbon dioxide and water produced during combustion. The resulting formula is then multiplied by a whole number to obtain the molecular formula.
jacksonpeeble
Gold Member
Empirical Formula from Stoichiometry!?

## Homework Statement

More than 1 billion pounds of adipic acid (MW 146.1 g/mol) is manufactured in the US each year. Most of it is used to make synthetic fabrics. Adipic acid contains only C, H, and O. Combustion of a 1.6380g sample of adipic acid gives 2.960g of CO2 and 1.010 g of H2O. What is the simplest formula for adipic acid? What is its molecular formula?

## Homework Equations

(Adipic Acid) + O2 -> CO2 + H2O

## The Attempt at a Solution

Convert to .0561 mol H2O
Convert to .0673 mol Co2
Convert to .0112 mol adipic acid using stoichiometry (I understand this part).

Divide each of the moles by the least amount (adipic acid), then you'll get (roughly) even numbers, which is the empirical formula.

Use given masses of water and carbon dioxide to calculate masses of hydrogen and carbon in the sample of adipic acid - you will see the sample weighted more. Missing mass is the oxygen. Then calculate moles of H, C and O (not H2, C and O2) and find their ratio as iRaid suggested.

## 1. What is an empirical formula?

An empirical formula is the simplest ratio of elements in a compound. It represents the relative number of atoms of each element in a compound.

## 2. How is the empirical formula determined from stoichiometry?

The empirical formula can be determined from stoichiometry by using the molar ratios of the elements involved in a chemical reaction. This involves converting the given amounts of reactants and products into moles and then finding the lowest whole number ratio between them.

## 3. Can the empirical formula be the same as the molecular formula?

No, the empirical formula and the molecular formula can be different. The empirical formula is the simplest ratio of elements, while the molecular formula represents the actual number of atoms of each element in a molecule.

## 4. Can the empirical formula change in different conditions?

No, the empirical formula is a constant ratio that does not change with different conditions. It is based on the relative number of atoms of each element in a compound and is not affected by external factors.

## 5. How is the empirical formula used in chemistry?

The empirical formula is used to represent the composition of a compound in a simple and concise manner. It is also used to calculate other properties of a compound, such as molecular weight and percent composition.

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