chemistry

I need help with this problem...

A 1.208 g sample of a compound containing C, H, and O was burned to produce 2.561 g CO2 and 0.3930 g H2O. Calculate the empirical formula of the compound.

I always get stuck when it comes to finding the subscript for this compound.

asked by mark
  1. Convert 2.561g CO2 to g C. Easiest done by 2.561 x (atomic mass C/molar mass CO2).
    Convert 0.3930g H2O to g hydrogen. Easiest done by 0.3930 x (2*atomic mass H/molar mass H2O).
    Then g O = 1.208 - g C - g H

    Now convert g C, H, and O to moles.
    moles = grams/molar mass.

    Find the ratio of the elements to each other using whole numbers with the smallest being 1.00. That is easiest done by dividing the smallest number by itself; then divide the other mole amounts by the same small number.
    If you have trouble, post your work and I can help guide you through it. Be sure to explain what you don't understand about the next step.

    posted by DrBob222
  2. I ended up with C_2.809 H_2.106 O_1

    so would that be C_3 H_2 O?

    posted by mark
  3. I would round that way BUT I didn't get those numbers. I ended up with 1.99 for C, 1.496 for H, 1.00 for O which rounds to C2H1.5O but that in small whole numbers is C4H3O2 if I didn't make a math error. Look over your work to see if you can find an error; post your work and I'll look for an error if you wish.

    posted by DrBob222

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