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# The Mole Concept When we prepare a compound industrially or even study a reaction in the laboratory, we deal with tremendous

numbers of molecules or ions. Suppose you wish to prepare acetic acid, starting from 10.0 g of ethanol. This small sample (less than 3 tea-spoonsful) contains 1.31 1023 molecules, a truly staggering number. Imagine a device that counts molecules at the rate of one million per second. It would take more than four billion yearsnearly the age of the earthfor this device to count that many molecules! Chemists have adopted the mole concept as a convenient way to deal with the enormous numbers of molecules or ions in the samples they work with. Denition of Mole and Molar Mass A mole (symbol mol) is dened as the quantity of a given substance that contains as many molecules or formula units as the number of atoms in exactly 12 g of carbon-12. One mole of ethanol, for example, contains the same number of ethanol molecules as there are carbon atoms in 12 g of carbon-12. The number of atoms in a 12-g sample of carbon-12 is called Avogadros number (to which we give the symbol NA). Recent measurements of this number give the value 6.0221367 1023 , which to three signicant gures is 6.02 1023. A mole of a substance contains Avogadros number (6.02 1023) of molecules (or formula units). The term mole, like a dozen or a gross, thus refers to a particular number of things. A dozen eggs equals 12 eggs, a gross of pencils equals 144 pen-cils, and a mole of ethanol equals 6.02 1023 ethanol molecules. In using the term mole for ionic substances, we mean the number of formula units of the substance. For example, a mole of sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, is a quantity containing 6.02 1023 Na2CO3 units. But each formula unit of Na2CO3 contains two Na ions and one CO3 2 ion. Therefore, a mole of Na2CO3 also contains 2 6.02 1023 Na ions and 1 6.02 1023 CO3 2 ions.

FIGURE 3.2 One mole each of various substances Clockwise from top left: 1-octanol (C8H17OH); mercury(II) iodide (HgI2); methanol (CH3OH); sulfur (S8).

When using the term mole, it is important to specify the formula of the unit to avoid any misunderstanding. For example, a mole of oxygen atoms (with the formula O) contains 6.02 1023 O atoms. A mole of oxygen molecules (formula O2) contains 6.02 1023 O2 moleculesthat is, 2 6.02 1023 O atoms. The molar mass of a substance is the mass of one mole of the substance. Carbon-12 has a molar mass of exactly 12 g/mol, by denition. For all substances, the molar mass in grams per mole is numerically equal to the formula mass in atomic mass units. Ethanol, whose molecular formula is C2H6O (frequently written as the condensed structural formula C2H5OH), has a molecular mass of 46.1 amu and a molar mass of 46.1 g/mol. Figure 3.2 shows molar amounts of different substances.

Mole Calculations Now that you know how to nd the mass of one mole of substance, there are two important questions to ask. First, how much does a given number of moles of a substance weigh? Second, how many moles of a given formula unit does a given mass of substance contain? Both questions are easily answered using dimensional analysis, or the conversion-factor method. < To illustrate, consider the conversion of grams of ethanol, C2H5OH, to moles of ethanol. The molar mass of ethanol is 46.1 g/mol, so we write 1 mol C2H5OH 46.1 g C2H5OH Thus, the factor converting grams of ethanol to moles of ethanol is 1 mol C2H5OH/46.1 g C2H5OH. To convert moles of ethanol to grams of ethanol, we simply invert the conversion factor (46.1 g C2H5OH/1 mol C2H5OH). Note that the unit you are converting from is on the bottom of the conversion factor; the unit you are converting to is on the top.

Again, suppose you are going to prepare acetic acid from 10.0 g of ethanol, C2H5OH. How many moles of C2H5OH is this? You convert 10.0 g C2H5OH to moles C2H5OH by multiplying by the appropriate conversion factor.

The following examples further illustrate this conversion-factor technique. Zinc iodide, ZnI2, can be prepared by the direct combination of elements (Figure 3.3). A chemist determines from the amounts of elements that 0.0654 mol ZnI2 can form. How many grams of zinc iodide is this? Problem Strategy Use the formula mass to write the factor that converts from mol ZnI2 to g ZnI2. Note that the unit you are converting from (mol ZnI2) is on the bottom of the conversion factor, and the unit you are converting to (g ZnI2) is on the top. Solution The molar mass of ZnI2 is 319 g/mol. (The formula mass is 319 amu, which is obtained by summing the atomic masses in the formula.) Therefore,

Answer Check Whenever you solve a problem of this type, be sure to write all units, making certain that they will cancel. This built-in feature of dimensional analysis ensures that you are correctly using the conversion factors. Avogadros Law: Relating Volume and Amount In 1808 the French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (17781850) concluded from experiments on gas reactions that the volumes of reactant gases at the same pressure and temperature are in ratios of small whole numbers (the law of combining volumes). For example, two volumes of hydrogen react with one volume of oxygen gas to produce water.

Three years later, the Italian chemist Amedeo Avogadro (17761856) interpreted the law of combining volumes in terms of what we now call Avogadros law: equal volumes of any two gases at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules. Thus, two volumes of hydrogen contain twice the number of molecules as in one volume of oxygen, in agreement with the chemical equation for the reaction. One mole of any gas contains the same number of molecules (Avogadros number 6.02 1023 ) and by Avogadros law must occupy the same volume at a given temperature and pressure. This volume of one mole of gas is called the molar gas volume, V m . Volumes of gases are often compared at standard temperature and pressure (STP), the reference conditions for gases chosen by convention to be 0C and 1 atm pressure. At STP, the molar gas volume is found to be 22.4 L/mol