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Finding Formula Based on Neutralization Reaction

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Salicylic acid, used in the manufacture of aspirin, contains only the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Each molecule of the acid contains only one acidic hydrogen. When 1.00g of salicylic acid undergoes complete combustion, 2.23g CO2 and 0.39 g of H2O are formed. When 1.00g of salicylic acid is titrated with 0.100M NaOH, 72.4mL of base is needed for a complete reaction.

a. What is the empirical formula for salicylic acid?
b. What is the molecular formula for salicylic acid?
c. Write a balanced chemical equation for the neutralization of salicylic acid by sodium hydroxide.

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Solution Preview

Salicylic acid, used in the manufacture of aspirin, contains only the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Each molecule of the acid contains only one acidic hydrogen. When 1.00g of salicylic acid undergoes complete combustion, 2.23g CO2 and 0.39 g of H2O are formed. When 1.00g of salicylic acid is titrated with 0.100M NaOH, 72.4mL of base is needed for a complete reaction.

a. What is the empirical formula for salicylic acid?
b. What is the molecular formula for salicylic acid?
c. Write a balanced chemical equation for the neutralization of salicylic acid by sodium hydroxide.
Part A
If salicylic acid were to be combusted, it would form carbon dioxide and water. The general formula would be:
C?H?O? + O2  H2O + CO2
If you look at it, the only place carbon can come from is the acid, so the mass of ...

Solution Summary

In this problem, salicylic acid is neutralized by a NaOH standard. Based on titration information, an explanation is given regarding how to calculate empirical formula and molecular formula of the acid titrated.

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