Percent Composition And Empirical Formula Lab

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Introduction :

The percent composition of a compound can be found by determining the mass of each element within that compound, and with this information, the empirical formula can be determined. The lab consisted of obtaining a magnesium ribbon and having it undergo chemical reactions to create solid magnesium oxide with the aim being identifying the percent composition and empirical formula of the compound.

Background Information :

To determine magnesium oxide’s percent composition and empirical formula, the masses of magnesium and oxygen separately must be found and then divided by the total mass and multiplied by 100 to find the percent makeup of each element within the compound. However, to obtain magnesium oxide, it had been synthesized from magnesium and various chemical reactions with only the initial mass of magnesium and the final compound’s mass being known.
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A magnesium atom has a charge of 2+ and an oxygen atom has a charge of 2-. When the charges are balanced, the equation is MgO, one magnesium atom joined in an ionic bond with one oxygen atom. With the theoretical empirical formula found, one can now find the theoretical percent composition of MgO. The atomic molar mass of a magnesium atom is 24.31 g/mol and 16.00 g/mol for oxygen, therefore the total theoretical mass of the compound is (24.31 g/mol + 16.00 g/mol) 40.31 g/mol. The percent composition is found by dividing the element’s mass by the total mass of the

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