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1. Atoms, molecules and stoichiometry

Learning outcomes

1.1 Relative masses of atoms and molecules


a) define and use the terms relative atomic, isotopic, molecular and formula
masses, based on the 12C scale

1.2 The mole and the Avogadro constant


a) define and use the term mole in terms of the Avogadro constant

1.3 The determination of relative atomic masses, Ar


a) analyse mass spectra in terms of isotopic abundances (knowledge of the
working of the mass spectrometer is not required)
b) calculate the relative atomic mass of an element given the relative
abundances of its isotopes, or its mass spectrum

1.4 The calculation of empirical and molecular formulae


a) define and use the terms empirical and molecular formula
b) calculate empirical and molecular formulae, using combustion data or
composition by mass

1.5 Reacting masses and volumes (of solutions and gases)


a) write and construct balanced equations
b) perform calculations, including use of the mole concept, involving:
(i) reacting masses (from formulae and equations)
(ii) volumes of gases (e.g. in the burning of hydrocarbons)
(iii) volumes and concentrations of solutions
c) deduce stoichiometric relationships from calculations such as those in 1.5(b)

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Some definitions

Relative atomic mass, Ar: average mass of one atom of the


element relative to the mass of carbon-12, which has a mass of
exactly 12

Relative isotopic mass: mass of an isotope of an element relative


to the mass of carbon-12, which has a mass of exactly 12

Relative molecular mass, Mr: mass of a molecule of the


compound relative to the mass of carbon-12, which has a mass of
exactly 12

Relative formula mass, Mr: refers to compounds containing ions

Determination of Ar from mass spectra

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CALCULATION OF EMPIRICAL AND MOLECULAR FORMULAE

Empirical formula: shows the simplest whole-number ratio of the


elements present

Molecular formula: shows the total number of atoms of each


element present in a molecule of the compound

more
useful

CALCULATION OF EMPIRICAL AND MOLECULAR FORMULAE

Calculation of empirical formula


- for example, if magnesium is burned in oxygen, magnesium
oxide is formed

Magnesium and Oxygen


atoms are present in the
ratio 1:1
MgO

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Example

An oxide of copper has the following composition by mass: Cu, 0.635 g; O; 0.080 g.
Calculate the empirical formula of the oxide.

Cu O
Ar (Cu) = 63.5
Mass (g) 0.635 0.080 Ar(O) = 16
Amount (mol) = mass = mass
Ar Ar

0.635 0.080
= =
63.5 16

= 0.0100 = 0.00500
divide by the smallest amount:
Cu: 0.0100 / 0.00500 = 2 2 Cu
Cu2O
O: 0.00500 / 0.00500 = 1 1O

CALCULATION OF EMPIRICAL AND MOLECULAR FORMULAE

Combustion analysis

the composition by mass of organic compounds can be found by


combustion analysis.

involves the complete combustion in oxygen of a sample of known


mass

all the carbon is converted to carbon dioxide and all the hydrogen
to water

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Combustion analysis

Example
- 0.500 g of an organic compound X produces 0.733 g of carbon dioxide and 0.300 g of water on
complete combustion
Ar (H) = 1
- the mass spectrum of the compound shows it has a molecular mass of 60 Ar (C) = 12
Ar(O) = 16

12g of carbon are present 2g of hydrogen are present


in 1 mol (=44g) CO2 in 1 mol (=18g) H2O

divide by the smallest amount:


1C
C: 0.0167 / 0.0167 = 1
H: 0.033 / 0.0167 = 2 2H CH2O Mr = 30

O: 0.0167 / 0.0167 = 1 1O Mr (x) = 60

C2H4O2

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Writing chemical formulae

formulae are determined by the electronic configurations and


the ways in which elements combine to form compounds

in the formula of an ionic compound, the total number of positive


charges must exactly equal the total number of negative charges:
Mg2+ 2 x Al3+ = 2 x (+3) = + 6
MgO Al2O3
O2- 3 x O2- = 3 x (-2) = - 6

some compounds do not contain ions but contain covalent bonds.


The formulae of simple covalent compounds may be deduced from
the numbers of electrons required to complete the outer electron
shell of each atom present:
C (requires 4 electrons) H

H C H
H (requires 1 electron)
H

metals form positive ions; do not usually change their names in

compounds

non-metals form negative ions; they change their names by

becoming ides (chlorine sodium chloride)

many non-metals (and some metals) combine with other non-


metals such as oxygen to form negative ions;
they start with the name of the element and end in ate
(or sometimes ite) (e.g. sulphate (sulphite)

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BALANCING CHEMICAL EQUATIONS

Question: write a balanced equation

When iron(III) oxide is reduced to metallic iron


by carbon monoxide, the carbon monoxide is
oxidised to carbon dioxide

BALANCING IONIC EQUATIONS

When zinc is placed in aqueous copper(II)


sulphate, copper metal is displaced, forming a
red brown deposit on the zinc. In the reaction,
zinc dissolves to form zinc(II) sulphate.

- full equation

- ionic equation (does not show spectator ions)

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CALCULATIONS INVOLVING CONCENTRATIONS AND GAS VOLUMES

Concentrations of solutions

one mole of a compound is dissolved in a solvent


to make one cubic decimeter (1dm3) of solution

Concentration = 1 mol dm-3


Molarity
1M

n
C =

experimental
technique
Titration
very useful in determining an
unknown concentration

5 things you need to know:

the balanced equation for the reaction showing the moles of the
two reactants
the volume of the solution of the first reagent
the concentration of the solution of the first reagent
the volume of the solution of the second reagent
the concentration of the solution of the second reagent

If we know four of these, we can


calculate the fifth

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Titration
In the titration 20.0 cm3 of 0.200 mol dm-3 aqueous sodium hydroxide exactly neutralises a
25.0 cm3 of the sulphuric acid.
What is the concentration of the sulphuric acid solution?

2NaOH (aq) + H2SO4 (aq) Na2SO4 (aq) + 2H2O (l)

V(NaOH) = 20.0 cm3 = 20.0 x 10-3 dm3 n(NaOH) = C x V = 0.200 x 20.0 x 10-3
C(NaOH) = 0.200 mol dm-3 = 4.00 x 10-3 mol

n(H2SO4) = x n(NaOH)
= x 4.00 x 10-3
V(H2SO4) = 25.0 cm3 = 25.0 x 10-3 dm3
= 2.00 x 10-3 mol
C(H2SO4) = ???

C(H2SO4) = n / V = 2.00 x 10-3 / 25.0 x 10-3


M(H2SO4) = 2 x 1 + 32 + 4 x 16
= 0.080 mol dm-3 = 98 g mol-1
= 0.080 x 98 g dm-3

= 7.84 g dm-3

Gas volumes
In 1811, Avogadro discovered that equal volumes of all
gases contain the same number of molecules

room temperature
and pressure

occupies
1 mole of any gas V = 24.0 dm3

we can use reacting volumes of gases to determine the


stoichiometry of a reaction

we can assume that equal volumes of gases contain the same


number of moles

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e.g. 20 cm3 of hydrogen react with exactly 10 cm3 of


oxygen to form water

ratio hydrogen : oxygen 20 : 10 or 2 : 1

2H2 (g) + O2 (g) 2H2O (l)

Example

10 cm3 of a gaseous hydrocarbon X burned completely in exactely


50 cm3 of oxygen to produce water and 30 cm3 of carbon dioxide
(room temperature and pressure).

We need to determine:

- the formula of the hydrocarbon

- the balanced equation for the reaction

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3 mol of CO2 are obtained from 1 mol of X


each hydrocarbon molecule
contain 3 C atoms

3 mol of carbon dioxide use up 3 out of the original 5 mol of oxygen

53=2

2 mol of oxygen molecules combine with hydrogen atoms from the


hydrocarbon to form 4 mol of water 4x2H=8

C3H8(g) + 5O2(g) 3CO2(g) + 4H2O(l)

Homework

A pure hydrocarbon is used in bottled gas for cooking and heating.

When 10 cm3 of the hydrocarbon is burned in 70 cm3 of oxygen (an


excess), the final gaseous mixture contains 30 cm3 of carbon
dioxide and 20 cm3 of unreacted oxygen.
All gaseous volumes were measured under identical conditions.

What is the formula of the hydrocarbon?

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