What are the empirical and molecular formulas of maleic acid?

1 Answer
Aug 2, 2017

Answer:

Molecular formula: #"C"_4"H"_4"O"_4#

Empirical formula: #"CHO"#

Explanation:

Maleic acid has the #sfcolor(red)("molecular formula"#

#color(red)(ulbar(|stackrel(" ")(" " "C"_4"H"_4"O"_4" ")|)#

The #sfcolor(blue)("empirical formula"# is derived by finding the greatest common factor of the subscripts in the molecular formula.

The subscripts are

  • #4# (carbon)

  • #4# (hydrogen)

  • #4# (oxygen)

So the greatest common divisor is #4#, and we divide each subscript by #4# to find the #sfcolor(blue)("empirical formula"#:

#"C"_(4"/"4)"H"_(4"/"4)"O"_(4"/"4)#

which simplifies to

#color(blue)(ulbar(|stackrel(" ")(" ""CHO"" ")|)#