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Calculating the empirical and molecular formulas from the percent composition by mass and the molar mass of the compound: Steps: Assume that you have a 100.0 gram sample of the compound. The percent by mass would then be the mass (in grams) you have of each element. The ratio is 1:1 so the subscripts are each 1 and the empirical formula is CaO. V. Molecular Formulas A. The actual whole-number ratio of the atoms is a compound. B. It is the same as empirical formula or a whole-number ratio of it. (e.g. Double or triple all subscripts.) C. Calculating a molecular formula: 1. Calculate the empirical formula. Sep 18, 2012 · The empirical formula gives the simplest ratio of the elements in a compound, but does not necessarily give the actual number of each element. For instance the empirical formula of water is H2O - two hydrogens for each oxygen - and each molecule does actually contain two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Jan 22, 2019 · If you can divide all of the numbers in a molecular formula by some value to simplify them further, then the empirical or simple formula will be different from the molecular formula. The empirical formula for glucose is CH 2 O. Glucose has 2 moles of hydrogen for every mole of carbon and oxygen.