Empirical Formula & Molecular Formula

Empirical Formula & Molecular Formula

initially, chemical formulas were obtained by decision of masses of all the elements that are combined to form a molecule and subsequently we come up with two important types of formula in chemistry : molecular formula and empirical formula.
The empirical rule of a compound gives the simplest proportion of the phone number of different atoms present, whereas the molecular formula gives the actual number of each different atom present in a molecule. If the recipe is simplified then it is an empiric formula. The molecular formula is normally used and is a multiple of the empirical convention .
The general statement relating molecular recipe and the empirical formula is

molecular Formula = n \ ( \times\ ) Empirical Formula

What is molecular formula ?

  • The molecular formula is the formula derived from molecules and is representative of the total number of individual atoms present in a molecule of a compound.
  • A molecular formula uses a subscript that reports the actual number of each type of atom in a molecule of the compound.
  • Molecular formulas are associated with gram molecular masses that are simple whole number multiples of the corresponding empirical formula mass.

What is empirical formula ?

  • The empirical formula is the simplest formula for a compound which is defined as the ratio of subscripts of the smallest possible whole number of the elements present in the formula. It is also known as the simplest formula.
  • An empirical formula for a compound is the formula of a substance written with the smallest integer subscript.
  • The empirical formula gives information about the ratio of numbers of atoms in the compound. The percent composition of a compound directly leads to its empirical formula.
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empirical Formula Vs Molecular Formula

Empirical Formula
Molecular Formula

An empirical formula represents the simplest whole-number ratio of various atoms present in a compound.
The molecular formula shows the exact number of different types of atoms present in a molecule of a compound.

Example: For Acetylene the empirical formula is CH
Example: For Acetylene the empirical formula is C2H2

Example ( Glucose Molecular Formula Vs Glucose Empirical Formula )

Let ’ s take the case of glucose. The molecular formula of glucose is C6H12O6 and the empiric convention of glucose is CH2O. We can derive a relative between the Molecular formula and the empiric rule of glucose .
Empirical Formula & Molecular Formula of Butane & Octane [ /caption ] C6H12O6 = 6 × CH2O
We can derive a general expression as ,
molecular formula = n × empiric formula where normality is a whole number
sometimes, the empiric formula and molecular recipe both can be the like .

Solved Examples


The empirical formula of Boron Hydride is BH3. Calculate molecular formula when the measured mass of the compound is 27.66.


The atomic mass is given by = B + 3 ( H ) = 10.81 + 3 ( 1 ) = 13.81u
But, the measured molecular mass for Boron atom is given as 27.66u
By using the formulation, Molecular formula = n × empirical formula
n = molecular formula/empirical rule = \ ( \frac { 27.66 } { 13.81 } \ ) = 2
Putting measure of n = 2 in the empiric rule we get molecular rule as

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molecular convention = 2 ( BH3 ) = B2H6 .


The empirical formula of a compound is COCl2 and its molecular mass is 90.00u. Find out the molecular formula of that compound.


COCl2 = C + O + 2 ( Cl ) = 12 + 16 + 2 ( 35.5 ) = 99 u
empiric formula is lapp as molecular batch as n=1, this means molecular convention is COCl2 .


What is the molecular formula of a compound which has an empirical formula of CH2 and a relative molecular mass of 70?


relative molecular mass = 70
Empirical formula mass = 12 + 2 = 14
The relative molecular mass is 5 x the relative empiric recipe mass
The molecular formula is 5 x the empirical formula
The molecular formula is C5H10

frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Why is it called empirical formula?

If no subscription exists, this means that one atom is show in the compound. The most aboveboard formulation is besides known as the analytic recipe. The mathematical formulation is the ratio of the intensify elements give. The subscripts in the recipe are the numbers of atoms, resulting in a proportion of whole numbers between them .

Why do we use empirical formula?

empirical formulas represent the simplest notational form. They provide the lowest ratio of whole numbers between the colonial elements. They will not have information on the full number of atoms in a individual compound atom, as opposed to molecular formula .

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What is the formula for empirical formula?

Using the molar mass from the periodic table convert the mass of each component to moles. Divide each mole value by the smallest forecast act of moles. Round to complete number nearest. This is the mole proportion of the elements, and is represented in the empirical rule by subscriptions .

What is molecular formula and empirical formula?

Three main categories of chemical formulae exist : analytic, molecular and structural. empirical formula show the simplest total-number ratio of atoms in a compound, molecular rule show the number of each atom type in a molecule, and geomorphologic formulas show how the atoms in a atom are bonded together.

Why is empirical rule useful?

The empiric rule is of primary manipulation in most cases to help determine outcomes when not all the data are available. It allows statisticians – or those studying the data – to gain insight into where, once everything is available, the data will fall. The empirical rule besides aids in testing how normal a adjust of datum is .
To follow more about empirical and molecular rule, download BYJU ’ S – the learn app .

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