A hydrocarbon contained 14.3% hydrogen. The empirical formula for the hydrocarbon is [H= 1.0, C= 12.0]

Answer Details

The empirical formula of a compound gives the simplest whole number ratio of the elements in the compound. To find the empirical formula of a hydrocarbon, we need to know the percentage of hydrogen in it.
In this case, the hydrocarbon contains 14.3% hydrogen. To convert this to a whole number ratio, we divide 14.3 by the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.0), which gives us 14.3. This means that for every 12 atoms of carbon, there are 14.3 atoms of hydrogen. To simplify this to a whole number ratio, we divide both 14.3 and 12 by the greatest common divisor, which is 2. This gives us a ratio of 7:6 for hydrogen to carbon atoms.
The empirical formula for the hydrocarbon is therefore \(CH_{2}\), which represents the simplest whole number ratio of hydrogen to carbon atoms in the compound.