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Compound Order

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:59 pm
by RichardValdez1L
If given the elements carbon nitrogen hydrogen and oxygen, how are we supposed to organize (such as CHON or HCNO) them into an empirical/molecular and why?

Re: Compound Order

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:17 pm
by Garrett Dahn 1I
When you're dealing with those four elements specifically, I think it is preferable to arrange them as CHNO. There's this principle called the Hill System which posits that when you're arranging elements in a chemical compound, carbon will come first, hydrogen will follow, then the remaining elements are to be order alphabetically. That said, there isn't a difference between something like CNHO and CHNO, at least chemically. One looks better, but they represent the same thing. So I think the rule of thumb is C then H then alphabetical, but I don't think it is something to worry too much about.

Re: Compound Order

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:14 pm
by Adela Henry 1I
For our purposes right now I don't think the order matters, but later on in the course it might become something to pay attention to. I usually remember the order with CHNOPS for the elements that are used the most. Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, and Sulfer.
Hope this helps!

Re: Compound Order

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:28 pm
by Anthony Mercado 1K
Additionally, and this may be overcomplicating matters, how would one expect to organize elements if they are made up of two letters, such as Cr - Chromium, or if one element, out of the ones in the compound has the largest number of atoms?

Re: Compound Order

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm
by Chem_Mod
The molecular formula just indicates how many atoms of different types a molecule has. There are some systems like the Hill system which is mentioned above to help place a systematic approach in place, but for our purposes now it will not matter.

Re: Compound Order

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:17 pm
by SamanthaGrohe1B
I believe that at this point in the course, the order of the elements in the compound is not as important as having the correct relative quantities to each other and knowing the general chemical properties of the compound