Can empirical and molecular formulas be the same?

1 Answer
Aug 19, 2016

Answer:

Absolutely; in fact most ionic substances have the same empirical and molecular formulae.

Explanation:

As you know, the empirical formula is the simplest whole number ratio defining constituent atoms in a species. The molecular formula is some multilple of this empirical formula, and the multiple may be #1#.

The odd-numbered alkanes, #CH_4#, #C_3H_8#, #C_5H_12#, #C_7H_16#, etc. all fit this criterion.