CIE AS Chemistry (9701) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

3.1.4 Molecular & Empirical Formulae

Molecular & Empirical Formulae of Organic Compounds

  • The molecular formula shows the number and type of each atom in a molecule
    • Eg. the molecular formula of ethanoic acid is C2H4O2
  • The empirical formula shows the simplest whole number ratio of the elements present in one molecule of the compound
    • Eg. the empirical formula of ethanol is CH2O

Worked example: Deducing molecular & empirical formulae


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Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.

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