Practical Difference between empirical and molecular formulas

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

305416361
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:17 am

Practical Difference between empirical and molecular formulas

Postby 305416361 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:10 pm

I understand the difference between empirical and molecular formulas, but what is the purpose of simplifying molecular formulas to empirical formulas? Because once you change the amounts/numbers of the individual elements, doesn't it change what compound it is? And if so, then what is the use of it/what is it good for?

Alice Chang 2H
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Practical Difference between empirical and molecular formulas

Postby Alice Chang 2H » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:12 pm

I searched this up online, not sure if it's true but it seems logical:

It’s a stepping stone in finding the molecular formula of an unknown compound. You can find the empirical formula experimentally, then get some more information from Nuclear Magnetic resonance imaging/ spectroscopy etc, and then combine all this information to identify the compounds molecular formula.


You can find some person asking pretty much the same question here: https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-empirical-formula-used-in-chemistry

I think it's really just to find the molecular formula in case you don't have the right info to find the molecular formula straight away.

Fdonovan 3D
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Practical Difference between empirical and molecular formulas

Postby Fdonovan 3D » Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:12 pm

I see your point-- they don't seem all that useful to me either. But I think they are used to gauge the ratio of elements in a given compound. Really it's just a simple form of notation that doesn't have a lot of practical applications, but it is helpful for getting to the molecular formula.


Return to “Empirical & Molecular Formulas”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest