How would you calculate the empirical formula of acetic acid (CH3COOH)?

1 Answer
Oct 23, 2015

Answer:

The empirical formula for acetic acid is #"CH"_2"O"#.

Explanation:

#"CH"_3"COOH"# can be written as #"C"_2"H"_4"O"_2"#.

An empirical formula represents the lowest whole number ratio of elements in a compound.

The subscripts in the formula #"C"_2"H"_4"O"_2"# can be reduced to the simplest whole number ratio by dividing the subscripts in the molecular formula by #2#.

The empirical formula of acetic acid is #"CH"_2"O"#.