19.03.2023 - 22:51

Benzoic acid is a white, crystalline powder used as a food preservative. The compound contains 68.8% C, 5.0% H, and 26.2% O, by mass. What is its empirical formula?

Question:

Benzoic acid is a white, crystalline powder used as a food preservative. The compound contains {eq}\rm 68.8% C, 5.0% H, {/eq} and {eq}\rm 26.2% O {/eq}, by mass. What is its empirical formula?

Answers (1)
  • Ferro
    April 8, 2023 в 23:49

    To determine the empirical formula of benzoic acid, we need to find the simplest whole number ratio of its atoms. We can do this by assuming that we have a 100 gram sample of the compound, which means we have:

    • 68.8 grams of carbon
    • 5.0 grams of hydrogen
    • 26.2 grams of oxygen

    Next, we need to convert these masses to moles using the molar masses of each element:

    • Carbon: 12.01 g/mol
    • Hydrogen: 1.01 g/mol
    • Oxygen: 16.00 g/mol

    Converting the masses to moles, we get:

    • Carbon: 68.8 g ÷ 12.01 g/mol = 5.73 mol
    • Hydrogen: 5.0 g ÷ 1.01 g/mol = 4.95 mol
    • Oxygen: 26.2 g ÷ 16.00 g/mol = 1.64 mol

    Now, we need to find the smallest whole number ratio of the moles. We can do this by dividing all the moles by the smallest number of moles, which in this case is 1.64. We get:

    • Carbon: 5.73 mol ÷ 1.64 mol = 3.50
    • Hydrogen: 4.95 mol ÷ 1.64 mol = 3.01
    • Oxygen: 1.64 mol ÷ 1.64 mol = 1.00

    Rounding these numbers to the nearest whole number, we get the empirical formula of benzoic acid: C3H3O2.

    Therefore, the empirical formula of benzoic acid is C3H3O2, which represents the simplest whole number ratio of its atoms.

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