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QUESTION

How would you determine the empirical and molecular formula for hydrogen peroxide, which is 5.94% H and 94.06% O and has a molar mass of 34.01 g/mol?

The molecular formula is "H"_2"O"_2".

Since the percentages add up to 100%, we can assume that we have a 100-g sample, which will allow us to convert the percentages into grams.

"H":5.94%=>"5.94 g" "O":94.06%=>"94.06 g"

Determine Moles of Each Element

First we need to determine moles of H and O by dividing their given masses by their molar masses (atomic weight on the periodic table) in g/mol.

"H":5.94cancel"g H"xx(1"mol H")/(1.00794cancel"g H")="5.89 mol H"

"O":94.06"g O"xx(1"mol O")/(15.999"g O")="5.88 mol O"

Determine and Empirical Formula

Since the number of moles for H and O are equal, ratios are 1.

The empirical formula is "HO"

Determine the molecular formula.

The empirical formula mass is (1xx1.00794"g/mol")+(1xx15.999"g/mol")="17.007 g/mol"

The molecular formula mass is "34.01 g/mol". To get the multiplication factor, divide the molecular formula mass by the empirical formula mass.

"Multiplication factor"=(34.01"g/mol")/(17.007"g/mol")="2.000"

To get the molecular formula, multiply the subscripts of the empirical formula times 2.

The molecular formula is "H"_2"O"_2".