 Chemistry
13 September, 02:05

# What is the empirical formula of a compound with a % composition of 40.1% sulfur and 59.9% oxygen?

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1. 13 September, 02:18
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The empirical formula is SO

Explanation:

The empirical formula of a chemical compound is the simplest positive integer ratio of atoms present in a compound.

Given 40.1% Sulphur and 59.9% oxygen.

We have to assume the mass of the compound to make our calculations easy.

Let's assume that the mass of the compound is 100g, that the mass of sulphur will be 40.1g and the mass of oxygen will then be 59.9g.

Number of moles = reacting mass / molar mass

Molar mass of Sulphur = 32g/mol

Molar mass of Oxygen = 16g/mol

No of moles of S = 40.1g/100g

=0.401 moles of S

No of moles of O = 59.9g/100g

=0.599 moles of O

•These are the relative mole ratios for the compound,

•They need to be converted from decimals into whole numbers

•Turn mole ratio into whole number ratio by dividing by all the elements by the least/smallest number of moles calculated.

Number of moles of S = 0.401moles/0.401 = 1 mol S

Number of moles of O = 0.599moles/0.401 = 1.49 mol O which is approximately 1 (to the nearest whole number, considering it tenths' value which is 4 and less than 5)

The empirical formula is therefore SO.