posted by Chelsea on .
The foul odor of rancid butter is due largely to butyric acid, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Combustion analysis of a 4.30-g sample of butyric acid produced 8.59g CO_2 and 3.52 g H_2O.Find the empirical formula for butyric acid.
I would convert g CO2 and g H2O to percent C and percent H, then subtract the sum of C and H from 100% to obtain percent O. Take a 100 grams sample (which gives grams = percent), finally convert to moles C, H, O, and find the ratio to each of the elements in small whole numbers.
Post your work if you get stuck.