We'll Give You The Chemical Formula, You Give Us Its Name!


By: Jouviane Alexandre

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Give me some H2O! According to Khan Academy, "Chemistry is the study of matter, and all matter is made up of atoms." And you'll find atoms in everything. In the world of chemistry, it's hard to find something that doesn't have a chemical formula, from just one letter to a whole jumble of them.

In your chemistry class, you probably spent a lot of time learning about chemical formulas. From the 118 elements that are known to mankind, many of them can be added together and in different varieties. While the difference between carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide is just one oxygen atom in the equation, the difference in real life is deadly - though thankfully for us, not all chemical formulas are that dangerous!

From something as simple as water to nail polish remover, can you give us the names of these chemical formulas? Adding two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atoms is one chemical formula that everyone needs to survive! Your food might be a little bland, but you could solve it with the combination of sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). If you want to take off your nail polish, you might need some C3H6O.

When you think about the things you use daily, there's a chemical for almost anything. From caffeine to aspirin to baking soda, let's find out if you're passing chemistry!

Na + Cl

In the chemical world, we'd refer to NaCl as sodium chloride, but in the everyday world, it's regular table salt. You'll find it everywhere from the shaker on the table to the water at the beach.


H2 + O

Come on! If you don't know H2O, what have you been drinking your entire life? Possibly the most used chemical compound, water makes up most of the Earth as well as most living organisms.


C + O2

When we're breathing, our bodies take the oxygen from the air and move it through the body. When we breathe out, the lungs are expelling the carbon dioxide from our bodies.


C + O

Carbon monoxide isn't called the silent killer for no reason. This gas is both colorless and odorless and often comes from the exhaust of cars.


H2 + O2

Hydrogen peroxide is a very caustic compound. You'll find it in some household products like disinfectants and bleaches.


Ag + I

Silver Iodide isn't often found in the everyday world. While it can be used for a specific kind of photography, you might also see it being used as an antiseptic.


K + O + H

Potassium hydroxide is a powerful base that has a high reactivity with acids. As daunting as that sounds, KOH is a big step in creating liquid soap.


N + H3

Ammonia is found in many things, but you might be more used to the chemical when it comes to household cleaning products. You can also find this chemical used in creating plastics and dyes.


C6 + H8 + O7

If you scrunch up your face when you eat a lemon, you can thank citric acid for that. This compound is naturally produced in citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges.


H2 + S

Hydrogen sulfide is one chemical compound you definitely want to stay away from. An irritant to the body, it can be found in sewage sludge and some natural gases.


C27 + H46 + O

Cholesterol can be classified as a steroid or a lipid. Essential to cell structure, cholesterol also plays a role in steroid hormones and some vitamins.


C3 + H6 + O

Acetone has many uses but one of it's most common household uses might be in your nail polish remover. Acetone can also be used in skin products, but a major warning that this compound is extremely flammable.


C3 + H6 + O3

While the acid might have you looking twice, lactic acid is used for many things. Not only is it found in many milk products like yogurt and cottage cheese, but you might even find it in your beer and detergent.


P + O4

While phosphate might seem like it's only relevance is in the world of chemistry, it plays a major role in the functions of our metabolism and energy.


Na + H + C + O3

Baking Soda is often referred to by its chemical name, sodium bicarbonate. Having many uses, it can be used in cooking, pest control, and can even relieve some allergic reactions.


H + N + O3

Nitric acid is definitely something you should stay away from on a day to day basic. A very strong acid, it can cause critical burns.


C12 + H22 + O11

Sucrose is a natural sugar that is found in some plants and fruits. Sucrose is also the sugar you'll find in all the delicious but not-nutritious snacks, such as cookies and ice cream.


C + H4

While methane isn't something that you'd find in everyday life, it sits at the center of making organic chemicals.


O + O

An important component to the air we breathe, oxygen gas might be the most commonly understood chemical compound.


C8 + H10 + N4 + O2

While many just need caffeine for the feeling it gives us, chemically, caffeine is a stimulant that works on the central nervous system. It also helps block other molecules that would start fatigue in the body.


Ca + C + O3

While calcium carbonate serves many purposes in a lab, it can often be found in the form of an antacid.


C9 + H8 + O4

While a chemist might refer to it as acetylsalicylic acid, your pharmacist might tell you to take an aspirin. Often taken for pain, it is even said to help prevent heart attacks.


Na + N + O3

Sodium nitrate might seem to have more chemical uses than everyday uses, but you can find it in fertilizers as well as food preservatives.


Na + O + H

While chemists might use the words sodium hydroxide, you might be used to the word lye. Sodium hydroxide is used in making soap, paper, and explosives.


H3 + P + O4

Phosphoric acid might have no use for you in your everyday life, but this acid is commonly used in fertilizers, toothpastes, and in detergent.


H + Cl

A highly corrosive acid, HCl has many uses. Some of them include battery and firework production. One of our stomach acids, it is also used in digestion.


C8 + H18

Octane is extremely reactive and flammable. While hearing the word octane might draw a blank, it is a major part of gasoline.


C6 + H12 + O2

While glucose may or may not be a term you're familiar with, it is often referred to as blood sugar. The body will take the glucose we consume and turn it into energy.


C2 + H6 + O

Alcohol is found in many forms, but this is it's most common. Highly flammable and with differing levels of toxicity, alcohol can be used medically, and it is often imbibed.


Ca + O

While calcium oxide has few day to day uses, it is used in making cement and plaster.


C2 + H4 + O2

Vinegar is often used interchangeably with acetic acid. While it has many major chemical uses, it can often be used medically as well as with food in the form of vinegar.


C + N

Cyanide is known for being a highly toxic compound often used in pest control. It is highly poisonous for humans.


C3 + H8

Propane is one compound for which you'll find everyday uses. If your house uses water heating, you're most likely using propane. Propane is also the commonly used gas for cooking.


C6 + H6

While benzene plays a huge role in the organic chemistry world, it plays a big one in yours as well. The base of many other chemical components, it's found in many things, from plastic to detergent.


H2 + S + O4

Sulfuric acid is highly acidic and can be found in many things. From drain cleaners to household products, it's largely found in fertilizers.


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