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nitrogen reacts with oxygen to form 2 compounds. Compund A contains 2.8 g of nitrogen for each 1.6 g of oxygen. Compound B contains 5.6g of nitrogen for each 9.6g of oxygen. What is the lowest whole number mass ratio of nitrogen that combines with a given mass of oxygen?

  • Chemistry -

    well, it would be

    A 2.8/1.6= ???
    B 5.6/9.6=???
    obviously neither is a whole number.

    Assume 100 g of Nitrogen.


    where k is an integer, and m,n are grams of oxygen in each compound.
    But m+n=100

    (100-n)(2.8/1.6)+n(5.6/9.6)=100 k
    (100-n)1.75+ .583n=100k
    if k=1, then n=14.3

    m= 85.7

    , k=1
    in that, one has grams O=100, grams N= 14.3*2.8/1.6+85.7*5.6/9.8=25.7+50 g N or 75gN, so I get 3/4 ratio of N/O

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