How to Calculate the Mass of Ethyl Alcohol

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    • 1). Add up the molar mass of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen to find the total molar mass of ethyl alcohol. The approximate molar masses of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are as follows: oxygen, 16 grams per mole; carbon, 12 grams per mole; and hydrogen, 1 gram per mole.

      Ethyl alcohol contains one oxygen, six hydrogens and two carbons, so its molar mass is as follows: 16 + 2 x 12 + 6 x 1 = 46 grams per mole.

    • 2). Measure the volume of ethyl alcohol you need using your graduated cylinder. Remember that ethyl alcohol evaporates and is highly flammable, so be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area where the vapor cannot accumulate. Also be sure that no open flames or possible sources of heat or spark are located nearby.

    • 3). Multiply this volume by the density of ethyl alcohol at room temperature, 0.789 grams per mL. If you have 10 mL, for example, you would multiply 0.789 x 10 = 7.89 grams of ethyl alcohol.

    • 4). Divide the number of grams of ethyl alcohol by the molar mass if you need the number of moles. So 7.89 divided by 46, for example, would give you 0.172 moles of ethyl alcohol in your 10 milliliters.

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