Chemical Formula Of Common Compounds

Chemical Formula Of Common Compounds

Chemical Formula Of Common Compounds

The chemical formula of a compound is a symbolic representation of its chemical composition. Chemical formulae provide insight into the elements that constitute the molecules of a compound and also the ratio in which the atoms of these elements combine to form such molecules. For example, the chemical formula of water, which is H2O, suggests that two hydrogen atoms combine with one oxygen atom to form one molecule of water.

Importance of Chemical Formulae

  • Chemical formulae provide insight into the chemical composition of a compound.
  • They also represent the ratios in which the constituent elements combine to form the compound.
  • The chemical formula of a compound is crucial while representing it in a chemical equation.
  • Chemical formulae can also be employed to represent ions, free radicals and other chemical species.

Types of Chemical Formulae

While the term ‘chemical formula’ typically refers to the molecular formula of a compound (which denotes the total number of atoms of each constituent element in one molecule of the compound), the compositions of chemical compounds can be expressed in several ways, as listed in this subsection.

Molecular Formula:

The molecular formula provides insight into the number of elements present in a compound. In molecular formulae, the elements are denoted by their respective symbols (as in the periodic table) and the number of atoms of each element in the molecule is written in subscript. For example- the molecular formula for glucose is C6H12O6.

Empirical Formula:

The empirical formula of a chemical compound represents the ratio of the elements present in that compound. Empirical formulae are usually obtained based on the analysis of experimental data. The empirical formula for glucose is CH2O. Empirical Formulae can be derived from the molecular formulae.

Structural Formula:

As the name suggests, the structural formula of a chemical compound provides insight into the arrangement of the atoms in the molecule.

How to write Chemical Formula

In order to write a chemical formula, it is important to know the symbol of the elements present in the compound, formula of the radicals and the valency of the elements in that compound. Following points should be kept in mind while writing a chemical formula.

    • Most of the compounds are binary compounds, i.e. they have two elements. Compounds with more than two elements are also known
    • An atom with a positive charge is called a cation whereas an atom with a negative charge is called an anion
    • For a compound containing a metal and a non-metal, the metal is named first followed by the non-metal. For example: NaCl which consists of Na+ (metal ion) and Cl (non-metal ion)
    • Anions having -1 negative charge usually have a suffix as –ide. For example: F – Floride
    • Anions having oxyanions (oxygen + another element) usually have a suffix as –ate. For example – SO42- (Sulphate)
    • When a polyatomic anion has H ion, bi- or hydrogen is used as a suffix. For example – HCO3-Bicarbonate or hydrogen carbonate
    • Some polyatomic anions can be named as:
Chemical FormulaPolyatomic Anion

Solved Examples

Problem 1: In one molecule of the compound, determine how many atoms of every element are present for each one of these chemical formulas.

  1.       HCN – hydrogen cyanide –It’s a toxic gas
  2.       C18H21NO3 – codeine, a painkilling drug
  3.       Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 – Hydroxyapatite, that is present in the enamel of the tooth


  1. One atom is present in each of the elements hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen, respectively. Remember that the subscript 1 is understood when no subscript is mentioned.
  2. This formula points out that in one molecule of the compound, 18 carbon atoms, 21 hydrogen atoms, one nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms are existent.
  3. There are ten calcium atoms. The amounts of phosphorous, hydrogen and oxygen are affected by the subscripts outside the parentheses. There are six phosphorous atoms and two hydrogen atoms existent. Oxygen atoms exist in two positions in the formula. There are overall 26 oxygen atoms: two from the OH subunit (2×1) and 24 from the PO4 subunits (6×4)

List of Chemical Compound Formula

There are several chemical formulae, however, here is a list of most important Chemical Formulas in chemistry.


Name of the Chemical Compound


1Acetic acid formulaCH3COOH
2Aluminium hydroxide formulaAl(OH)3
3Acetate formulaCH3COO-
4Acetone formulaC3H6O
5Aluminium acetate formulaC6H9AlO6
6Aluminium bromide formulaAlBr3
7Aluminium carbonate formulaAl2(CO3)3
8Aluminium chloride formulaAlCl3
9Aluminium fluoride formulaAlF3
10Aluminium formulaAl
11Aluminium iodide formulaAlI3
12Aluminium oxide formulaAl2O3
13Aluminium phosphate formulaAlPO4
14Amino acid formulaH2NCHRCOOH
15Ammonia formulaNH3
16Ammonium dichromate formulaCr2H8N2O7
17Ammonium acetate formulaC2H3O2NH4
18Ammonium bicarbonate formulaNH4HCO3
19Ammonium bromide formulaNH4Br
20Ammonium carbonate formula(NH4)2CO3
21Ammonium chloride formulaNH4Cl
22Ammonium hydroxide formulaNH4OH
23Ammonium iodide formulaNH4I
24Ammonium nitrate formulaNH4NO3
25Aluminium sulfide formulaAl2S3
26Ammonium nitrite formulaNH4NO2
27Ammonium oxide formula(NH4)2O
28Ammonium phosphate formula(NH4)3PO4
29Ammonium sulfate formula(NH4)2SO4
30Ammonium sulfide formula(NH4)2S
31Argon gas formulaAr
32Ascorbic acid formulaC6H8O6
33Barium acetate formulaBa(C2H3O2)2
34Barium bromide formulaBaBr2
35Barium chloride formulaBaCl2
36Barium fluoride formulaBaF2
37Barium hydroxide formulaBa(OH)2
38Barium iodide formulaBaI2
39Barium nitrate formulaBa(NO3)2
40Barium oxide formulaBaO
41Barium phosphate formulaBa3O8P2
42Barium sulfate formulaBaSO4
43Benzene formulaC6H6
44Benzoic acid formulaC7H6O2
45Bicarbonate formulaCHO3
46Bleach formulaNaClO
47Boric acid formulaH3BO3
48Potassium Bromate formulaKBrO3
49Bromic acid formulaHBrO3
50Bromine formulaBr
51Butane formulaC4H10
52Butanoic acid formulaC4H8O2
53Calcium acetate formulaCHCaO
54Calcium bromide formulaCaBr2
55Calcium carbonate formulaCaCO3
56Calcium hydride formulaCaH2
57Calcium hydroxide formulaCa(OH)2
58Calcium iodide formulaCaI2
59Calcium nitrate formulaCa(NO3)2
60Calcium oxide formulaCaO
61Carbon monoxide formulaCO
62Carbon tetrachloride formulaCCl4
63Carbonic acid formulaH2CO3
64Calcium phosphate formulaCa3(PO4)2
65Carbonic acid formulaH2CO3
66Citric acid formulaC6H8O7
67Chlorate formulaClO3
68Chlorine formulaCl
69Chlorine gas formulaCl2
70Chlorous acid formulaHClO2
71Chromate formulaCrO42-
72Chromic acid formulaH2CrO4
73Citric acid formulaC6H8O7
74Copper ii carbonate formulaCuCO3
75Copper ii nitrate formulaCu(NO3)2
76Cyanide formulaCN
77Dichromate formulaK2Cr2O7
78Dihydrogen monoxide formulaH2O
79Dinitrogen monoxide formulaN2O
80Dinitrogen pentoxide formulaN2O5
81Dinitrogen trioxide formulaN2O3
82Ethanol formulaC2H5OH
83 Iron oxide formulaFe2O3
84Ethylene glycol formulaC2H6O2
85Fluorine gas formulaF2
86Aluminum bromide formulaAlBr3
87Aluminum sulfide formulaAl2S3
88Ammonium carbonate formula(NH4)2CO3
89Ammonium nitrate formula(NH4)(NO3)
90Ammonium phosphate formula(NH4)3PO4
91Barium chloride formulaBaCl2
92Barium sulfate formulaBaSO4
93Calcium nitrate formulaCa(NO3)2
94Carbon monoxide formulaCO
95Carbon tetrachloride formulaCCl4
96Carbonic acid formulaH2CO3
97Hydrofluoric acid formulaHF
98Hydroiodic acid formulaHI
99Hypochlorous acid formulaHClO
100Lithium phosphate formulaLi3PO4
101Magnesium nitrate formulaMgNO3
102Magnesium phosphate formulaMg3(PO4)2
103Nitrogen monoxide formulaNO
104Nitrous acid formulaHNO2
105Potassium carbonate formulaK2CO3
106Potassium iodide formulaKI
107Potassium nitrate formulaKNO3
108Potassium phosphate formulaKH2PO4
109Sodium carbonate formulaNa2CO3
110Sodium oxide formulaNa2O
111Fructose chemical formulaC6H12O6
112Glycerol formulaC3H8O3
113Helium gas formulaHe
114Hexane formulaC6H14
115Hydrobromic acid formulaHBr
116Hydrochloric acid formulaHCl
117Hydrocyanic acid formulaHCN
118Hydrofluoric acid formulaHF
119Hydrogen carbonate formulaCHO3
120Hydrogen gas formulaH2
121Hydrogen peroxide formulaH2O2
122Hydrogen phosphate formulaH3PO4
123Hydrogen sulfate formulaHSO4
124Hydroiodic acid formulaHI
125Hydrosulfuric acid formulaH2SO4
126Hydroxide ion formulaOH
127Hypobromous acid formulaHBrO
128Hypochlorite formulaNaClO
129Hypochlorous acid formulaHClO
130Hypoiodous acid formulaHIO
131Iodic acid formulaHIO3
132Iodide ion formulaI
133Iodine formulaI2
134Iron (iii) nitrate formulaFe(NO3)3
135Iron (ii) oxide formulaFeO
136Iron (iii) carbonate formulaFe2(CO3)3
137Iron (iii) hydroxide formulaFe(OH)3
138Iron (iii) oxide formulaFe2O3
139Iron (iii) chloride formulaFeCl3
140Lactic acid formulaC3H6O3
141Lead acetate formulaPb(C2H3O2)2
142Lead (ii) acetate formulaPb(C2H3O2)2
143Lead iodide formulaPbI2
144Lead (iv) oxide formulaPbO2
145Lead nitrate formulaPb(NO3)2
146Lithium bromide formulaLiBr
147Lithium chloride formulaLiCl
148Lithium hydroxide formulaLiOH
149Lithium iodide formulaLiI
150Lithium oxide formulaLi2O
151Lithium phosphate formulaLi3PO4
152Magnesium acetate formulaMg(CH3COO)2
153Magnesium bicarbonate formulaC2H2MgO6
154Magnesium carbonate formulaMgCO3
155Magnesium chloride formulaMgCl2
156Magnesium hydroxide formulaMg(OH)2
157Magnesium iodide formulaMgI2
158Magnesium nitrate formulaMg(NO3)2
159Magnesium nitride formulaMg3N2
160Magnesium carbonate formulaMgCO3
161Magnesium bromide formulaMgBr2
162Magnesium oxide formulaMgO
163Magnesium phosphate formulaMg3(PO4)2
164Magnesium sulfate formulaMgSO4
165Magnesium sulfide formulaMgS
166Methane formulaCH4
167Methanol formulaCH3OH
168Nickel acetate formulaNi(C2H3O2)2
169Nickel nitrate formulaNi(NO3)2
170Nitric acid formulaHNO3
171Nitride formulaN3
172Nitrite formulaNO2
173Nitrogen dioxide formulaNO2
174Nitrogen monoxide formulaNO
175Nitrous acid formulaHNO2
176Oxalate formulaC2O42−
177Oxalic acid formulaH2C2O4
178Oxygen formulaO2
179Ozone formulaO3
180Perbromic acid formulaHBrO4
181Potassium Permanganate formulaKMnO4
182Permanganate ion formulaMnO4
183Phosphate formulaPO43-
184Sodium hydrogen phosphate formulaNa2HPO4
185Sodium formate formulaHCOONa
186Phosphoric acid formulaH3PO4
187Phosphorus pentachloride formulaPCl5
188Phosphorus trichloride formulaPCl3
189Potassium acetate formulaCH3CO2K
190Potassium bicarbonate formulaKHCO3
191Potassium carbonate formulaK2CO3
192Potassium chlorate formulaKClO3
193Potassium hydrogen phosphate formulaK2HPO4
194Potassium chloride formulaKCl
195Potassium chromate formulaCrK2O4
196Potassium cyanide formulaKCN
197Potassium dichromate formulaK2Cr2O7
198Potassium fluoride formulaKF
199Potassium hydroxide formulaKOH
200Potassium hypochlorite formulaKClO
201Potassium iodide formulaKI
201Potassium dihydrogen phosphate formulaKH2PO4
203Potassium nitrate formulaKNO3
204Potassium nitrite formulaKNO2
205Potassium oxide formulaK2O
206Potassium iodate formulaKIO3
207Potassium phosphate formulaKH2PO4
208Potassium sulfite formulaK2SO3
209Salicylic acid formulaC7H6O3
210Silicon dioxide formulaSiO2
211Silver acetate formulaAgC2H3O2
212Silver carbonate formulaAg2CO3
213Silver chloride formulaAgCl
214Silver nitrate formulaAgNO3
215Silver oxide formulaAg2O
216Silver phosphate formulaAg3PO4
217Sodium acetate formulaC2H3NaO2
218Sodium bicarbonate formulaNaHCO3
219Sodium bromide formulaNaBr
220Sodium thiosulfate formulaNa2S2O3
221Sodium carbonate formulaNa2CO3
222Sodium chloride formulaNaCl
223Sodium chromate formulaNa2CrO4
224Sodium citrate formulaNa3C6H5O7
225Sodium cyanide formulaNaCN
226Sodium dichromate formulaNa2Cr2O7
227Sodium fluoride formulaNaF
228Sodium hydroxide formulaNaOH
229Sodium hypochlorite formulaNaClO
230Sodium iodide formulaNaI
231Uric acid formulaC5H4N4O3
232Sodium nitrate formulaNaNO3
233Sodium nitride formulaNa3N
234Sodium nitrite formulaNaNO2
235Sodium oxide formulaNa2O
236Sodium peroxide formulaNa2O2
237Sodium phosphate formulaNa3PO4
238Sodium sulfate formulaNa2SO4
239Sodium sulfide formulaNa2S
240Sodium sulfite formulaNa2SO3
241Strontium chloride formulaSrCl2
242Strontium nitrate formulaSr(NO3)2
243Sucrose formulaC12H22O11
244Sugar formulaC12H22O11
245Sulfate ion formulaSO42−
246Sulfur dioxide formulaSO2
247Sulfur trioxide formulaSO3
248Sulfuric acid formulaH2SO4
249Sulfurous acid formulaH2SO3
250Tartaric acid formulaC4H6O6
251Toluene formulaC7H8
252Urea formulaCH4N2O
253Vinegar formulaC2H4O2
254Zinc acetate formulaZn(O2CCH3)2
255Zinc carbonate formulaZnCO3
256Zinc chloride formulaZnCl2
257Zinc hydroxide formulaZn(OH)2
258Zinc iodide formulaZnI2
259Zinc nitrate formulaZn(NO3)2
260Zinc phosphate formulaZn3(PO4)2
261Zinc sulfate formulaZnSO4
262Zinc sulfide formulaZnS


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Samuel Barnabas Ifitumi