which of the following polymers has the empirical formula of CH2O?

a) DNA

b) cellulose

c) cholesterol

d) saturated fat

i thought only monosaccharides have that formula.

what other molecules have this formula?

4 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    None of them. You are right that monosaccharides have that formula. However polysaccharides, such as cellulose, do not have that formula because when a covalent bond forms between two monosaccharides, such as cellulose one water molecule is lost.

    For instance when maltose (a disaccharide) is formed from two glucose molecules a water molecule is formed:

    2C6H12O6 (glucose) --> C12H22O11 (maltose) + H2O

    Therefore the general formula for a polysaccharide is not CH2O but C6n(H2O)5n+1, where n is the number of monosaccharides (there may be a simpler form but I could not think of one off the top of my head). Therefore a polymer made from 5 monosaccharides will have the formula C30H52O26.

    The answer can not be DNA because DNA has N and P in it. Cholesterol and saturated fats have very low proportions of O compared to C and H so they can't be the answer either. Therefore all the options are wrong. Cellulose is the closest but it is still wrong.

    Cholesterol and saturated fat also aren't polymers. Polymers are long chains of repeating monomers. Cholesterol is not made of monomers. Fats consist of only four monomers and they aren't aranged in a chain. So this question is doubly bad.

    You were right in saying only monosaccharides have that formula. Unfortunately whoever came up with this question and the other people that have answered this are unaware of this fact.

  • OkieMV
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    You are correct, monosaccharides have that formula. And as it turns out, one of the items on your list is a polymer of monosaccharides (a big molecule built from single monosaccharides). Can you tell which one? Hint: it is not a lipid or nucleic acid. That gets rid of three answers. Another hint: you cannot digest it if you eat it, but it does put some fiber in your diet. Another hint: it starts with C and ends with ellulose.

    Source(s): Becker, world of the Cell
  • 9 years ago

    b) cellulose

    glucose is C6H12O6; when it polymerizes it makes more complex sugars and carbohydrates such as starch and even more complex polymers such as cellulose. The lowest whole number ratio of atoms in the formula of glucose will be the empirical formula; since cellulose is made of glucose and the lowest whole number ratio of C:H:O in glucose is 1:2:1, the answer is cellulose.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    great job man well done

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