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Succinic acid is a substance produced by lichens, Chemical analysis indicates it is composed of 40.68% carbon, 5.08% hydrogen, and 54.24%

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1
oxygen and has a molar mass of 118.1 g/mol
. Determine the
molecular formula for succinic acid
Molecular Formula
C = 12.01, H = 1.01, 0 = 16,00

2

C4H6O4

Explanation:

First, the empirical formula needs to be calculated as follows

- Divide each element mass by its molar mass to convert to moles

C = 40.68/12 = 3.39moles

H = 5.08/1 = 5.08moles

O = 54.24/16 = 3.39moles

Next, we divide each mole value by the smallest (3.39moles)

C = 3.39/3.39 = 1

H = 5.08/3.39 = 1.5

O = 3.39/3.39 = 1

To get the empirical formula of this molecule, we multiply all by 2 to have:

C = 2

H = 3

O = 2

The empirical formula of C,H,O = 2:3:2

That is, C2H3O2

Next, we find the molecular formula as follows:

(C2H3O2)n = 118.1

{12(2) + 1(3) + 16(2)}n = 118.1

24 + 3 + 32 = 118.1

59n = 118.1

n = 118.1/59

n = 2.001

Therefore, the molecular formula is:

(C2H3O2)2

= C4H6O4

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