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In this course, we will learn about types of chemical formulas i.e molecular formula and empirical formula. We will learn how to find empirical and molecular formulas from percentage by mass.

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September 5, 2020

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There are three main types of chemical formulas: empirical, molecular and structural. Empirical formulas show the simplest whole-number ratio of atoms in a compound, molecular formulas show the number of each type of atom in a molecule, and structural formulas show how the atoms in a molecule are bonded to each other.


The formulas we have calculated in the preceding unit express the simplest atomic ratio between the elements in the compound. Such formulas are called empirical formulas. An empirical formula does not necessarily represent the actual numbers of atoms present in a molecule of a compound; it represents only the ratio between those numbers. The actual numbers of atoms of each element that occur in the smallest freely existing unit or molecule of the compound is expressed by the molecular formula of the compound. The molecular formula of a compound may be the empirical formula, or it may be a multiple of the empirical formula. For example, the molecular formula of butene, C4H8, shows that each freely existing molecule of butene contains four atoms of carbon and eight atoms of hydrogen. Its empirical formula is CH2. One molecule of ethylene (molecular formula C2H4) contains two atoms of carbon and four atoms of hydrogen. Its empirical formula is CH2. Both have the same empirical formula, yet they are different compounds with different molecular formulas. Butene is C4H8, or four times the empirical formula; ethylene is C2H4, or twice the empirical formula


In this course we will learn each and every concept dealing with empirical and molecular formula.

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Sunny Garg
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Managing Director (Doctor Logics Eduservices)

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