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Stuck on an Empirical Formula Problem

  1. Sep 18, 2012 #1
    Pyridine is recovered from coke-oven gases and is used extensively in the chemical industry, in particular, in the synthesis of vitamins and drugs. Pyridine contains carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. A 0.546 g sample was burned to produce 1.518 g of carbon dioxide and 0.311 g of water. Determine the empirical formula of pyridine.

    Please show me step by step. I can't seem to figure this out.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    Show what you have tried. How many moles of carbon in the sample? Of hydrogen? Of nitrogen?
     
  4. Sep 19, 2012 #3
    By using the masses given, I was able to find that for every H2O that is created, there will be 2 CO2 created. I do not know anything about the nitrogen because nothing is said about it in the question. Also, the mass given for the pyridine does me no good because I do not know the formula for it. So far my pyridine is C?H?N?.
     
  5. Sep 19, 2012 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    What is mass of carbon in CO2? Hydrogen in H2O? Can you use this information to calculate mass of nitrogen?
     
  6. Sep 19, 2012 #5
    Thank you so much. That was all I needed. Problem solved.
     
  7. Sep 19, 2012 #6

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    You are welcome.
     
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