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Chemical Formula of Common Compounds

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Chemical Formulas of compounds are symbolic representations of their chemical composition. They tell us about which elements the chemical compound is made of and in what ratio.

In this article, we will learn about the chemical formulae of some common compounds in detail.

Chemical Compound Formula

Chemical formula is a representation of a substance’s molecular composition in terms of the symbols representing the components that make up the molecule. Molecular formula is another name for a chemical formula. 

An element’s or a compound’s chemical formula can be used. A chemical formula is a technique of presenting information on the chemical proportions of atoms that make up a chemical compound or molecule using chemical element symbols, numbers, and other symbols like parentheses, dashes, brackets, and commas.

Symbols of Elements

Chemical formula of an element is a description of the molecule’s composition, with the symbol indicating the element and the subscript indicating the number of atoms in one molecule. 

Since one molecule of hydrogen contains two hydrogen atoms, the formula for hydrogen is H2. One molecule of hydrogen element includes two hydrogen atoms, according to the formula H2. Also, 2H denotes two separate hydrogen atoms, H2 denotes one hydrogen molecule, and 2H2 denotes two hydrogen molecules. 

The following table lists the molecular formulas for some of the most common elements:

Elements and their Symbols

















Formula of Chemical Compounds

Chemical formula of a compound represents the elements present in the substance’s molecule in terms of their symbols. It is a description of its composition in which the chemical symbols indicate which elements are present and the subscripts indicate how many atoms of each element are present in one molecule.

Chemical formulas and elements found in several common molecular compounds are listed below.

Chemical Compounds and their Formulae



Elements present

Carbon dioxide


C and O



H and O

Sulphur dioxide


S and O



N and H

Hydrogen chloride


H and Cl



C and H



C, H, and O

Hydrogen sulphide


H and S

Types of Chemical Formula

There are various types of chemical formulae and all the chemical formulae represent different attribute of the chemical compound. In general the chemical formula represent the molecular formula of the compound that is the representation of the molecule of the compound.

There are three general types of chemical formulae that are,

  • Molecular Formula
  • Emperical Formula
  • Structural Formula

Now let’s learn about them in detail.

Molecular Formula

The molecular formula of any compound represent the molecule of the compound and it tells us that how many atoms and in which ratio they are combined to form that compound.

The molecular formula of Glucose is C6H12O6 it tells us that in forming a glucose molecule we require 6 carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms.

Emperical Formula

The empirical formula of any compound tells us that how many atoms are required to a compound. It also tells us the ratio in which the atoms combine to form the compounds. For example the empirical formula for glucose is CH2O this tells us that in forming glucose we need carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atom in 1:2:1 ratio.

Structural Formula

The structural formula of any compound tells us the exact structure of the compound its tell us which atom forms bond with which atom in forming the compound.

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List of Common Chemical Compounds

The list of some common chemical compound of chemistry are tabulated below with their properties and general uses.

Common NameChemical FormulaChemical NameGeneral Uses
Baking SodaNaHCO3Sodium BicarbonateIt is used for baking purposes.
Bleaching PowderCaOCl2Calcium OxychlorideIt is used as a disinfectant and as a bleaching agent.
Blue VitriolCuSO4.xH2OCopper SulphateIt is used for fungus control.
BoraxNa2[B4O5(OH)4].8H2OSodium BorateIt is used for manufacturing detergent.
Carbolic AcidC6H5OHPhenolIt is used as a home cleaner and disinfectant.
Caustic PotashKOHPotassium HydroxideIt is used in the manufacturing of fertilizers and soaps
ChloroformCHCl3Trichloro methaneIt is used as a solvent and is used in manufacturing floor polish.
Common SaltNaClSodium ChlorideIt is used for flavouring and preserving food.
Dry IceCO2Solid Carbon DioxideIt is used as a food preservative.
GalenaPbSLead(II) SulphideIt is used in pottery.
Green VitriolFeSO4.7H2OFerrous Sulphate HeptahydrateIt is used in the treatment of sewage water
GypsumCuSO4.2H2OCalcium Sulphate dihydrateIt is used in home manufacturing.
Heavy WaterD2ODeuterium OxideIt is used as a moderator in nuclear reactors.
Laughing GasN2ONitrous OxideIt is used by dentists.
Quick limeCaOCalcium OxideIt is used in iron and steel manufacturing.
Slacked limeCa(OH)2Calcium HydroxideIt is used in plaster and mortar
Lime StoneCaCO3Calcium CarbonateIt is used as marble
Caustic SodaNaOHSodium HydroxideIt is used in the manufacturing of paper, aluminium and other.
Marsh GasCH4MethaneIt is a poisonous gas which is mainly found in mines. 
Milk of MagnesiaMg(OH)2Magnesium HydroxideIt is used as an antacid.
Spirit of NiterHNO3Nitric AcidIt is used in the production of fertilizers and explosives.
Muriatic AcidHClHydrochloric AcidIt is used in food and leather processing.
Oil of VitriolH2SO4Sulphuric AcidIt is used in the manufacturing of fertilizers.
Plaster of ParisCaSO4.1/2H2OCalcium Sulphate HemihydrateIt is used as a protective coating for walls.
Quick SilverHgMercuryIt is used in barometers and clinical thermometers.

Importance of Chemical Formulae

The importance of Chemical Formulae of Compounds is mentioned below:

  • Compound’s name is represented by a formula.
  • Names of all the elements in the molecule are given in formulae.
  • Number of atoms of each element contained in a molecule is given by formulae.
  • One molecule of a compound is represented by a formula.
  • Formulae denote a definite mass of a substance.

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FAQs on Formula of Chemical Compounds

What is Chemical Formula of Compounds?

The chemical formula of any compound represents the atoms and their ratio that are used to form a compound. For example the chemical compound for carbon dioxide is CO2 that tells us that in forming a carbon dioxide we need one carbon molecule that is attached with two oxygen molecules.

What is Difference between O2 and 2O?

O2 indicates that one molecule of oxygen element contains 2 atoms of oxygen and 2O indicates two separate atoms of oxygen.

What is Chemical Formula of Sodium Chloride?

The chemical formula for Sodium Chloride is NaCl. It is also called common salt.

What is Chemical Formula of Bleaching Powder?

The chemical formula for Bleaching Powder is CaOCl2

What is Chemical Formula of Baking Soda?

The chemical formula of baking soda is NaHCO3. It is also known as sodium bicarbonate.

What is Chemical Formula of Glucose?

The chemical formula of glucose is C6H12O6. It is a simple sugar, also known as a monosaccharide.

What is Chemical Formula of Sucrose?

The chemical formula of sucrose is C12H22O11.

Last Updated : 07 Feb, 2024
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