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

Nov 10, 2015

#### Answer:

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

#### Explanation:

e.g. Carbon monoxide ($C O$) 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 $C O$, the same as the molecular formula.

e.g. Water (${H}_{2} O$) has hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the ratio $2 : 1$, which is already as simple as it can be and the empirical formula is ${H}_{2} O$, the same as the molecular formula.

e.g. Hydrogen peroxide (${H}_{2} {O}_{2}$) has hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the ratio $2 : 2$ which can be simplified to $1 : 1$. Therefore, the empirical formula is $H O$, which is different from the molecular formula.