Problem: The foul odor of rancid butter is due largely to butyric acid, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Combustion analysis of a 4.30-g sample of butyric acid produced 8.59 g CO2 and 3.52 g H2 O.Find the empirical formula for butyric acid.

FREE Expert Solution

The formula for the unknown compound is CxHyOz. The combustion reaction of the unknown is:

CxHyOz + O2 → x CO2 + y H2O

From this, we can see that all of the CO2 and H2O formed came from the unknown. Complete combustion of 4.30 g of butyric acid produced 8.59 g CO2 and 3.52 g H2O.

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Problem Details

The foul odor of rancid butter is due largely to butyric acid, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Combustion analysis of a 4.30-g sample of butyric acid produced 8.59 g CO2 and 3.52 g H2 O.

Find the empirical formula for butyric acid.

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