The empirical formula obtained from elemental analysis identifies the ratio of components, not their actual number. The empirical formula of a compound is the simplest possible formula indicating the relative numbers of different atoms in it. The empirical formula shows the simplest ratio of an element in a compound and uses the smallest possible set of subscript numbers.
- Convert the percent numbers to grams for each element.
- Convert the mass of each element to moles of that element.
- The number of moles for each element become their subscript in the empirical formula.
- Convert the subscript numbers to whole numbers.