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Question

Determine the empirical formula of an oxide of iron which has 69.9% iron and 30.1 % dioxygen by mass.


Solution

Empirical formula of a compound may be defined as the formula which gives the simplest whole number ratio of the atoms of various elements present in one molecule of the compound.

Form the available data Percentage of iron = 69.9

Percentage of oxygen= 30.1 Total percentage of iron & oxygen= 69.9+30.1= 100%

Step 1 calculation of simplest whole number ratios of the elements

 

Element

Percentage

Atomic mass

Atomic ratio

Simplest ratio

Simplest whole no ratio

Fe

69.9

55.84

69.9/55.84=1.25

1.25= 1

2

O

30.1

16

30.1/16 = 1.88

1.88=1.5

3

 

Step 2 writing the empirical formula of the compound

The empirical formula of the compound = Fe2 O3

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