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Unformatted text preview: CHEM 130 Exp 6: Empirical Formulas If we know the % composition of a compound by mass, we can determine its chemical formula, which is a critical technique used in forensic chemistry and other areas where an unknown compound must be determined. An Empirical Formula is the simplest whole number ratio between the elements in a compound, but does not necessarily represent the true compound itself. The Molecular Formula is the actual formula of the compound in question and is the empirical formula multiplied by some integer, n. Molecular Formula = (Empirical Formula) x n To determine the value of n: n = molecular formula molar mass ÷ empirical formula molar mass If n = 1, then the empirical formula = molecular formula For example, glucose has the Molecular Formula: C 6 H 12 O 6 , but the simplest whole number ratio between C, H and O in glucose is CH 2 O, which is the Empirical Formula. The value of n would be 6....
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- Fall '08