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Maleic acid is an organic compound composed of 41.39% C, 3.47% H, and the rest oxygen. If 0.271 mol of maleic acid has a mass of 31.4 g, what are the empirical and molecular formulas of maleic acid?

So I checked the problem again, and yes this is the whole problem. I even copied and paste it from the homework page online. There's no part a or b before it either.... so do you think this problem is doable?

  • Chemistry -

    Excuse me, I was sleepy last night OR my brain was out of town.
    I think the empirical formula you had was CHO and the formula mass for CHO is 12+1+16=29

    moles = grams/molar mass and rearrange to
    molar mass = grams/moles = 31.4 g/0.271 moles = about 117 or so. You can do it more accurately. So how many units of CHO are in the 117; that will be 117/29 = 4.03 which rounds to 4.0 and the molecular formula is (CHO)4 or to put it in more conventional terms it would be C4H4O4

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