Chemistry

Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food-flavor enhancer, has been blamed for “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” the symptoms of which are headaches & chest pains. MSG has the following composition by mass: 35.51 percent C, 4.77 percent H, 37.85 percent O, 8.29 percent N, & 13.60 percent Na. What is its molecular formula if its molar mass is about 169 g

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  1. Take a 100 g sample and that gives you
    35.51 g C
    4.77 g H
    37.85 g O
    8.29 g N
    13.60 g Na

    Convert g to mols. mol = g/molar mass

    Then you want to find the ratio of these elements to each other with the smallest being no less than 1.00. The easy way to do that is to divide the smallest mols value by itself; then follow suit with the other numbers divided by the same small number. Round to the nearest whole number and that should give you the empirical formula. The molecular formula will be a multiple (1 or 2 or 3 etc) of the empirical formula. You can find the multiple by
    empirical formula x ?number = 169.
    Round ? number to a whole number.
    Post your work if you get stuck.

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