Empirical Formula : Lab Report

Topics: Magnesium, Oxide, Magnesium oxide Pages: 3 (530 words) Published: June 28, 2013
Name: J.T
Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide: Lab Report

The objective of the experiment is to determine the empirical formula of Magnesium Oxide through a procedure of heating magnesium ribbon to react with oxygen to form a magnesium oxide compound with the correct ratio of atoms within each element; 1:1.

Object| Mass (g)|
Crucible + Lid| 38.23|
Crucible + Lid + Magnesium| 38.57|
Crucible + Lid+ Magnesium Oxide| 38.75|

Object| Mass (g)|
Magnesium| 0.34|
Magnesium Oxide| 0.52|
Oxygen | 0.18|

Number of moles: m/M= Empirical Formula
Smallest number

Mg: (0.34)/ (24.31g/mole) = 0.0140 moles of Mg
O: (0.18)/ (16.00g/mole) =0.0113 moles of O
0.0140/ 0.0113 = 1.234
0.0113/ 0.0113 = 1.00
Calculated EF: Mg1.2OAccurate EF: MgO
The purpose of this experiment was to determine the empirical formula of magnesium oxide. An empirical formula is a formula based on the actual number of atoms in each element within the compound, in a whole number ratio.

Magnesium Oxide is an ionic compound with the equation: Mg(s)+ O(g)-> Mgo (s), with a 1:1 ratio, as magnesium has a cation charge of 2+ and oxygen has an anion charge of -2, so theoretically the empirical formula of magnesium oxide if Mgo. For the experiment to be preformed accurately the magnesium would have had to react with only oxygen and no magnesium should have been lost in the process of it being heated, however this was not the case.

From the experiment there were a few major sources of error, to which there wasn’t a whole number ratio. The loss of magnesium oxide in the form of a powder, decreasing constantly as the lid was momentarily lifted to allow oxygen to enter and to check if the reaction had concluded. Therefore the smoke was released, reducing the overall mass and more specifically the mass of oxygen. This error could be improved...
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