Mon September 23, 2013 By: Subiya Khan

how to calculate the percentage of carbon in a given organic compound

Expert Reply
Tue September 24, 2013

The composition of a compound is often expressed in terms of the weight percent of each element in the compound.

For example, ethanol has the formula C2H6O. One mole of ethanol has a mass of 46.07 g. The elemental formula indicates that one mole of ethanol contains two moles of carbon, six moles of hydrogen, and one mole of oxygen. Thus the composition of the compound by mass is

% C = 2 moles C (12.01 g/mole C)

46.07 g ethanol
100 % = 52.14 %

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