Why is it inaccurate to say "CO is 50 percent oxygen"?
As a binary compound it is 50% oxygen by composition.........
Because it would imply that carbon has the same molar mass as oxygen... That is, when we assume "50%" means "50% w/w".
#M_"CO" = M_"C" + M_"O"#
#= (12.011 + 15.999)# #"g/mol"#
So, it would be correct to say that
We use percentage by mass in chemistry, not percentage of atoms.
The percentage by mass of oxygen in carbon monoxide is about
Percentage by mass is what percentage overall mass of a substance is made up by a particular element.
To calculate percentage by mass, use the formula
Using the periodic table, we know that