Chemistry
Elements and Compounds

# What do empirical formulas determine?

###### Wiki User

Empirical formulas determine the ratio of atoms of different elements within a chemical compound and can be derived by dividing the number of each element's atoms by their greatest common factor. They do not necessarily describe the full chemical makeup of a molecule. For example, benzene has the formula C6H6 but its empirical formula is simply CH because there is one hydrogen atom for every carbon atom. Glucose has the molecular formula of C6H12O6; its empirical formula is CH2O. Because the molecular formula for water, H2O, cannot be further simplified (empirical formulas have only whole numbers) H20 is also its empirical formula.

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## Related Questions

Empirical formulas are the result of chemical analysis of a compound.

The empirical formula tells you the simplest formula for the compound. The molecular formula will be some multiple of the empirical formula, or it can be identical to the empirical formula.

Molecular formula is the integral multiple of Empirical formula.

Example of Empirical formula is : CO2 Example of Molecular formula is : C4O8

The similarity Is that you can find the components of the compound from both formulas

In order to find molecular formula from empirical formula, one needs to know the molar mass of the molecular formula. Then you simply divide the molar mass of the molecular formula by the molar mass of the empirical formula to find out how many empirical formulae are in the molecular formula. Then you multiply the subscripts in the empirical formula by that number.

An empirical formula is a brutto formula; a molecular formula explain the structure of a molecule.

C2N2H8 can be reduced to an empirical formula by dividing all the numbers by 2. So its empirical formula is CNH4. None of the others can be reduced so they are all empirical formulas.

The empirical formula for nitrogen dioxide is the same as its molecular formula - NO2. See related question below for more details on how to find empirical formulas.

"Molecular formulas show the total number of each atom in the molecule. Empirical formulas only show the ratio of the elements in the molecule. For example - acetate Molecular Formula Empirical Formula C6H12O6 CH2O " I just wanted to note that although this is correct the chemical formula in the example "C6H12O6" is not acetate. It is glucose. Acetate is a derivative of acetic acid.

Calculate the empirical formula weight. Find the ratio of the molecular weight to the empirical formula weight. (n= molecular weight/ empirical formular weight). Multiply each subscript of the empirical formula by n.

The same as its molecular formula; CH4. See related question below for more details on how to find empirical formulas.

Because unlike the empirical formula, the molecular formula does not have to be the simplest ratio.If by chance you are given the percent composition of the elements in a substance, you could calculate the empirical formula and then the empirical formula's mass. However, the molecular formula equation is molecular formula= (empirical formula)n, where n is the mass of the molecular formula divided by the mass of the empirical formula. You would, therefore, need to know the mass belonging to the molecular formula, which you are not given.

Ca3P2 or Ca3(PO4)2 See related question below for more details on how to find empirical formulas.

Yes they can. For example CH2O is the empirical formula for both formaldehyde(CH2O) and glucose(C6H12O6)

An empirical formula is elaborated after the chemical analysis of a compound; for a structural formula more in depth studies are necessary.

First it is necessary a correct chemical analysis of this compond, with the goal to establish the empirical chemical composition.

An empirical formula represents the lowest whole-number ratio of ions or atoms in a compound. The formulas for ionic compounds are always empirical, because the proportions of the ions are always reduced to the lowest whole-number ratio. The formulas for covalent compounds are sometimes empirical, in which case they are also the molecular formulas. For example, the formula for water, H2O, is an empirical/molecular formula because the ratio of hydrogen to oxygen atoms is 2:1, which represents the lowest whole-number ratio of atoms in a molecule of water.

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