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4 April, 06:00

Citric acid, the compound responsible for the sour taste of lemons, has an elemental composition of 37.51% C, 4.20% H, and 58.29% O Calculate the empirical formula of citric acid.

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  1. 4 April, 06:29
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    The empirical formula of citric acid is C6H8O7

    Explanation:

    Step 1: Data given

    Suppose the compound has a mass of 100.0 grams

    The compound contains:

    37.51 % C = 37.51 grams C

    4.20 % H = 4.20 grams H

    58.29 % O = 58.29 grams O

    Molar mass of C = 12.01 g/mol

    Molar mass of H = 1.01 g/mol

    Molar mass of O = 16.00 g/mol

    Step 2: Calculate moles

    Moles = mass / molar mass

    Moles C = 37.51 grams / 12.01 g/mol

    Moles C = 3.123 moles

    Moles H = 4.20 grams / 1.01 g/mol

    Moles H = 4.16 moles

    Moles O = 58.29 grams / 16.00 g/mol

    Moles O = 3.643 moles

    Step 3: Calculate mol ratio

    We divide by the smallest amount of moles

    C: 3.123 moles / 3.123 moles = 1

    H: 4.16 moles / 3.123 moles = 1.33

    O: 3.643 moles / 3.123 moles = 1.17

    If we multiply those by 6 we find the coefficients of the empirical formula

    C6H8O7

    The empirical formula of citric acid is C6H8O7
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