Potassium phosphate (K3PO4) is an inorganic compound that finds applications in various fields, including fertilizers, food additives, and chemical synthesis. Understanding its molar mass is crucial for calculating its quantity and determining its properties. In this article, we will delve into the concept of molar mass and provide a step-by-step approach to calculate the molar mass of K3PO4.

The molar mass of a compound represents the mass of one mole of that compound. It is expressed in grams per mole (g/mol) and is used to convert between the mass and the number of moles of a substance. To calculate the molar mass of K3PO4, we need to consider the atomic masses of its constituent elements: potassium (K), phosphorus (P), and oxygen (O).

Atomic Masses of Constituent Elements

Potassium (K)

The atomic mass of potassium is 39.0983 g/mol. This value represents the average mass of all isotopes of potassium, weighted by their natural abundance. Potassium has three naturally occurring isotopes: 39K (93.26%), 40K (0.01%), and 41K (6.73%).

Phosphorus (P)

The atomic mass of phosphorus is 30.973762 g/mol. Phosphorus has one stable isotope, 31P, which accounts for almost 100% of its natural abundance.

Oxygen (O)

The atomic mass of oxygen is 15.9994 g/mol. Oxygen has three stable isotopes: 16O (99.76%), 17O (0.04%), and 18O (0.20%).

Calculating the Molar Mass of K3PO4

Step 1: Determine the Number of Atoms of Each Element in the Formula

The formula of K3PO4 indicates that it contains three potassium atoms (K), one phosphorus atom (P), and four oxygen atoms (O).

Step 2: Multiply the Atomic Mass of Each Element by the Number of Atoms

Potassium: 3 x 39.0983 g/mol = 117.2949 g/mol

Phosphorus: 1 x 30.973762 g/mol = 30.973762 g/mol

Oxygen: 4 x 15.9994 g/mol = 63.9976 g/mol

Step 3: Add the Masses of All Atoms to Obtain the Molar Mass

Molar mass of K3PO4 = 117.2949 g/mol + 30.973762 g/mol + 63.9976 g/mol = 212.266262 g/mol

Therefore, the molar mass of K3PO4 is 212.266262 g/mol. This value represents the mass of one mole of K3PO4 and is used in various chemical calculations, such as determining the mass or number of moles of K3PO4 in a given sample.

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