Methods of characterization aim to calculate the products of a reaction. The level of detail expected depends on the circumstances, and calculates the range of methods required. If the aim has been to build a known compound, one needs to check its purity and identity. Fingerprinting techniques measure some other property or a spectrum and compare it with results published for known compounds and available in literature databases.
Elemental analysis is important in establishing identity of a known compound and the purity, or the empirical (stoichiometric) formulae of a new one. Elemental composition is generally quoted as percent by mass, from which the stoichiometry can be, calculate from atomic mass (RAM) values. Calculate a compound (X) with the following composition by mass:
Dividing each mass percent by the corresponding RAM (Appendix 1) gives the following relative molar quantities
These are very nearly in the proportions 1:9:6:3, suggesting a stoichiometric formula CrC9H6O3.