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September 2, 2015

Homework Help: Finding the Molecular Formula

Posted by Amy on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:02pm.

A certain compound containing only carbon and hydrogen was found to have a vapor density of 2.550 g/L at 100 degrees C and 760 mm Hg. If the empirical formula of this compound is CH, what is the molecular formula of this compound?

I had some ideas as to how to solve this problem.

First, I thought of using the Specific Heat Formula to find a value, that could resemble a known element.

Q = m CP delta T
1 = m(2.550)(373.15)
1 = m(951.53)
m = 0.00105 g

At this point, I'm really stuck. I know that to find the molecular formula of a compound, I need to divide the empirical mass over the molecular mass. However, I am not sure how to find both masses. I was thinking to find the empirical mass I could calculate CH.

C = 14.011 g
H = 1.007 g

CH = 14.011 + 1.007 = 15.018 g

This appears to be the molecular mass, but I still need the molecular mass.

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