Is the empirical formula for a compound ever the same as its molecular formula? .

1 Answer
Nov 10, 2015

Answer:

Yes, if the molecular formula is already in its simplest ratio

Explanation:

e.g. Carbon monoxide (#CO#) has carbon and oxygen atoms in the ratio #1:1# so it is already as simple as it can be, and the empirical formula is #CO#, the same as the molecular formula.

e.g. Water (#H_2O#) has hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the ratio #2:1#, which is already as simple as it can be and the empirical formula is #H_2O#, the same as the molecular formula.

e.g. Hydrogen peroxide (#H_2O_2#) has hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the ratio #2:2# which can be simplified to #1:1#. Therefore, the empirical formula is #HO#, which is different from the molecular formula.