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When caffeine is burned, the carbon in CO2, the hydrogen in water, and the nitrogen in nitrogen gas come directly from caffeine. This means that the first step is to calculate the moles of C, H, and N from the given masses. You would then need to convert the moles of each element to grams. The sum of the grams of C, H, and N would then be subtracted from the original sample to figure out how many grams of oxygen are in the sample. Once the grams of O are calculated, you can calculate the moles of O. You now have the moles of each element in caffeine. From here you can calculate the empirical formula by dividing by the smallest mole value and getting the ratio.
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