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Chapter 3

Q. 3.6

The compound that gives vinegar its sour taste is acetic acid, which contains the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

When 5.00 g of acetic acid are burned in air, 7.33 g of CO_{2} and 3.00 g of water are obtained. What is the simplest formula of acetic acid?

ANALYSIS
elements in acetic acid (C, H, and O)
mass of acetic acid (5.00 g)
result of combustion analysis (7.33 g CO_{2}, 3.00 g H_{2}O)
Information given:
molar masses (MM) of CO_{2} and H_{2}O Information implied:
simplest formula of acetic acid Asked for:

STRATEGY

1. Find the mass of C and H by using the conversion factors:

\frac{12.01  g  C}{44.01  g  CO_{2}}            \frac{2(1.008)  g  H}{18.02  g  H_{2}O}

2. Find the mass of O by difference:
mass of sample = mass of C + mass of H + mass of O
3. Follow the schematic pathway shown in Figure 3.5.

fig 3.5

Step-by-Step

Verified Solution

7.33 g CO_{2} × \frac{12.01  g  C}{44.01  g  CO_2} = 2.00 g C

3.00 g H_{2}O × \frac{2(1.008)  g  H}{18.02  g  H_{2}O} = 0.336 g H

1.  mass of C

mass of H

mass of O = mass of sample – (mass of C + mass of H)
= 5.00 g – (2.00 g + 0.336 g) = 2.66 g
2. mass of O
C: \frac{2.00  g  C}{12.01  g/mol} = 0.167; H: \frac{0.336  g  H}{1.008  g/mol} = 0.333; O: \frac{2.66  g  O}{16.00  g/mol} = 0.166

C: \frac{0.167 mol}{0.166  mol} = 1; H: \frac{0.333  mol}{0.167  mol} = 2; O: \frac{0.166  mol}{0.166  mol} = 1

Using the ratios as subscripts, the simplest formula is CH_{2}O.

3. mol of each element

ratios

simplest formula