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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Calculate formula masses for covalent and ionic compounds
  • Define the amount unit mole and the related quantity Avogadro’s number Explain the relation between mass, moles, and numbers of atoms or molecules, and perform calculations deriving these quantities from one another

We can argue that modern chemical science began when scientists started exploring the quantitative as well as the qualitative aspects of chemistry. For example, Dalton’s atomic theory was an attempt to explain the results of measurements that allowed him to calculate the relative masses of elements combined in various compounds. Understanding the relationship between the masses of atoms and the chemical formulas of compounds allows us to quantitatively describe the composition of substances.

Formula mass

In an earlier chapter, we described the development of the atomic mass unit, the concept of average atomic masses, and the use of chemical formulas to represent the elemental makeup of substances. These ideas can be extended to calculate the formula mass    of a substance by summing the average atomic masses of all the atoms represented in the substance’s formula.

Formula mass for covalent substances

For covalent substances, the formula represents the numbers and types of atoms composing a single molecule of the substance; therefore, the formula mass may be correctly referred to as a molecular mass. Consider chloroform (CHCl 3 ), a covalent compound once used as a surgical anesthetic and now primarily used in the production of the “anti-stick” polymer, Teflon. The molecular formula of chloroform indicates that a single molecule contains one carbon atom, one hydrogen atom, and three chlorine atoms. The average molecular mass of a chloroform molecule is therefore equal to the sum of the average atomic masses of these atoms. [link] outlines the calculations used to derive the molecular mass of chloroform, which is 119.37 amu.

A table and diagram are shown. The table is made up of six columns and five rows. The header row reads: “Element,” “Quantity,” a blank space, “Average atomic mass (a m u),” a blank space, and “Subtotal (a m u).” The first column contains the symbols “C,” “H,” “C l” and a blank, merged cell that runs the width of the first five columns. The second column contains the numbers “1,” “1,” and “3” as well as the merged cell. The third column contains the multiplication symbol in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The fourth column contains the numbers “12.01,” “1.008,” and “35.45” as well as the merged cell. The fifth column contains the symbol “=” in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The sixth column contains the values “12.01,” “1.008,” “106.35,” and “119.37.” There is a thick black line below the number 106.35. The merged cell under the first five columns reads “Molecular mass.” To the left of the table is a diagram of a molecule. Three green spheres are attached to a slightly smaller black sphere, which is also attached to a smaller white sphere. The green spheres lie beneath and to the sides of the black sphere while the white sphere is located straight up from the black sphere.
The average mass of a chloroform molecule, CHCl 3 , is 119.37 amu, which is the sum of the average atomic masses of each of its constituent atoms. The model shows the molecular structure of chloroform.

Likewise, the molecular mass of an aspirin molecule, C 9 H 8 O 4 , is the sum of the atomic masses of nine carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and four oxygen atoms, which amounts to 180.15 amu ( [link] ).

A table and diagram are shown. The table is made up of six columns and five rows. The header row reads: “Element,” “Quantity,” a blank space, “Average atomic mass (a m u),” a blank space, and “Subtotal (a m u).” The first column contains the symbols “C,” “H,” “O,” and a merged cell. The merged cell runs the length of the first five columns. The second column contains the numbers “9,” “8,” and “4” as well as the merged, cell. The third column contains the multiplication symbol in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The fourth column contains the numbers “12.01,” “1.008,” and “16.00” as well as the merged cell. The fifth column contains the symbol “=” in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The sixth column contains the values: “108.09,” “8.064,” “64.00,” and “180.15.” There is a thick black line below the number 64.00. The merged cell under the first five columns reads “Molecular mass.” To the left of the table is a diagram of a molecule. Six black spheres are located in a six-sided ring and connected by alternating double and single black bonds. Attached to each of the four black spheres is one smaller white sphere. Attached to the farthest right black sphere is a red sphere, connected to two more black spheres, all in a row. Attached to the last black sphere of that row are two more white spheres. Attached to the first black sphere of that row is another red sphere. A black sphere, attached to two red spheres and a white sphere is attached to the black sphere on the top right of the six-sided ring.
The average mass of an aspirin molecule is 180.15 amu. The model shows the molecular structure of aspirin, C 9 H 8 O 4 .

Computing molecular mass for a covalent compound

Ibuprofen, C 13 H 18 O 2 , is a covalent compound and the active ingredient in several popular nonprescription pain medications, such as Advil and Motrin. What is the molecular mass (amu) for this compound?

Solution

Molecules of this compound are comprised of 13 carbon atoms, 18 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. Following the approach described above, the average molecular mass for this compound is therefore:

A table is shown that is made up of six columns and five rows. The header row reads: “Element,” “Quantity,” a blank space, “Average atomic mass (a m u),” a blank space, and “Subtotal (a m u).” The first column contains the symbols “C,” “H,” “O,” and a merged cell. The merged cell runs the length of the first five columns. The second column contains the numbers “13,” “8,” and “2” as well as the merged cell. The third column contains the multiplication symbol in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The fourth column contains the numbers “12.01,” “1.008,” and “16.00” as well as the merged cell. The fifth column contains the symbol “=” in each cell except for the last, merged cell. The sixth column contains the values “156.13,” “18.114,” “32.00,” and “206.27.” There is a thick black line below the number 32.00. The merged cell under the first five columns reads “Molecular mass.” To the right is a ball-and-stick model of the structure. At the center, it shows six black spheres arranged in a six-sided ring with alternating double bonds. The two black spheres at the top and bottom of the six-sided ring are each bonded to one, smaller, white sphere. The black sphere on the left side of the six-sided ring is connect to another black sphere. This sphere is connected to two smaller, white spheres and another black sphere. This black sphere is connected to one, smaller white sphere, and two other black spheres. Each of these last two black spheres is connected to two smaller, white spheres. The black sphere on the right side of the six-sided ring is connected to another black sphere. This black sphere is connected to one smaller, white sphere and two other black spheres. The black sphere that is connected to it and is situated to the top right is connected to two smaller, white spheres. The black sphere connected towards the bottom right is connected to two red spheres. It forms a double bond with one of these red spheres and the other red sphere is connected to a smaller, white sphere.

Check your learning

Acetaminophen, C 8 H 9 NO 2 , is a covalent compound and the active ingredient in several popular nonprescription pain medications, such as Tylenol. What is the molecular mass (amu) for this compound?

Answer:

151.16 amu

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

so is HCl ionic compound
Honest Reply
what is chemistry
Chukwu Reply
where can I get the test bank or mcqs ? any idea ?
Sourav Reply
what are the types of intermolecular forces between organic compounds
Eke Reply
What is chemistry
khausar Reply
scientific study of structure of substances and of the way that they react with other substances
Haider
Thanks
khausar
welcome
Haider
Hi
khausar
hi 2
Haider
whr u from
Haider
are u writing GCE
Equin
Cameroon and u
Equin
Please what nuclear fusion and nuclear fission
ALABI Reply
في التسمية الشائعة للكيتونات يتم للمجموعة التي phenone إضافة لفظ تحتوي على الفينل
Zahara Reply
what is organic chemistry
God Reply
what is thyroid land
lynda Reply
what is density
Fathmat Reply
A measure of the amount of matter contained by a given volume. The ratio of one quantity to that of another quantity.
Anoruo
mass divided by volume i.e. g/cm^3
Walter
A
lynda
what's molarity?
Okpaka Reply
the concentration of a substance in solution, expressed as the number moles of solute per litre of solution
Anoruo
Please help me solve this question. A is a solution of 0.995mol/dm cube hydrochloride acid. B was prepared by diluting 10cm cube of a saturated solution of sodium trioxocarbonate (iv) to 100cm cube at room temperature. Assuming that 21.50cm cube of A reacted with 25cm cube of B. Calculate: i. Concentration of solution B in mol/dm cube. ii.Solubility of sodium trioxocarbonate (iv) at room temperature. Equation of the reaction: Na2Co3 +2HCL------> 2NaCL +H2O +CO2.
Mercy Reply
I don't know whether it's ok or not, but the answers I got are: I. 0.428 mol/dm^3 II. 4.54g per 100 g of water
Nazifa
In the first one, I first found out the amount of HCl in mol using moles=concentration x volume. Then I checked the ratio of Na2CO3 to HCl, which is 0.5 to 1. Therefore the moles of Na2CO3 will be half of HCl. Using the amount in moles and the volume as 25 cm^3, I reached my answer!
Nazifa
In the second one, it says that 10 cm^3 has saturated Na2CO3 solution. Using the concentration we found in previous answer, I found out the moles present in 10cm^3. After that, using mass= moles x RFM, I got it's mass. As for the mass of water, we know 1 cm^3 gives 1g, so 10 cm^3 gives 10g.....
Nazifa
Using solubility= mass of solute/mass of solvent x 100, we reach the answer.
Nazifa
Note: we will not use the volume of solution to be 100 cm^3, because then the solution will be dilute.
Nazifa
plz do correct me if I'm wrong!! ☺️
Nazifa
is like the answer is 900
lynda
how can I make citric acid crystals from lemon juice
Traceyo Reply
Write the resonance hybrids of furan and thiophene
Hydrolysis of CH3CH2NO2 with 85% H2SO4 gives? 2/Acetaldehyde is oxidised with potassium dichromate and sulphuric acid gives 3/ When benzyl alcohol is oxidised with KMnO4, the product obtained ? 4/ Benzyl chloride is oxidised with KOH4, the 5/
Hydrolysis of CH3CH2NO2 with 85% H2SO4 gives?
Define reduction in term of loss or gain of oxygen or hydrogen give an example.
Aneela
CuO + Mg → Cu + MgO removing oxygen is reduction. here Mg is reducing agent(loss of electrons)
Haider
reduction >> reduc(+)ion mean (+)ion reduced mean electron gained by (+)ion (+)ion means H(+).
Haider
How what works
Eric Reply
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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