makeup {CHNOSZ}R Documentation

Parse Chemical Formulas


Count the elements and charges in a chemical formula.


  makeup(formula, multiplier = 1, sum = FALSE, = FALSE)



character, a chemical formula


numeric, multiplier for the elemental counts in each formula


logical, add together the elemental counts in all formulas?

logical, include zero counts for elements?


makeup parses a chemical formula expressed in string notation, returning the numbers of each element in the formula. The formula may carry a charge, indicated by a + or - sign, possibly followed by a magnitude, after the uncharged part of the formula. The formula may have multiple subformulas enclosed in parentheses (but the parentheses may not be nested), each one optionally followed by a numeric coefficient. The formula may have one suffixed subformula, separated by ‘⁠*⁠’ or ‘⁠:⁠’, optionally preceded by a numeric coefficient. All numbers may contain a decimal point.

Each subformula (or the entire formula without subformulas) should be a simple formula. A simple formula, processed by count.elements, must adhere to the following pattern: it starts with an elemental symbol; all elemental symbols start with an uppercase letter, and are followed by another elemental symbol, a number (possibly fractional, possibly signed), or nothing (the end of the formula). Any sequence of one uppercase letter followed by zero or more lowercase letters is recognized as an elemental symbol. makeup will issue a warning for elemental symbols that are not present in thermo$element.

makeup can handle numeric and length > 1 values for the formula argument. If the argument is numeric, it identifies row number(s) in thermo()$OBIGT from which to take the formulas of species. If formula has length > 1, the function returns a list containing the elemental counts in each of the formulas. If is TRUE, the elemental counts for each formula include zeros to indicate elements that are only present in any of the other formulas.

The multiplier argument must have either length = 1 or length equal to the number of formulas. The elemental count in each formula is multiplied by the respective value. If sum is true, the elemental counts in all formulas (after any multiplying) are summed together to yield a single bulk formula.


A numeric vector with names refering to each of the elemental symbols in the formula. If more than one formula is provided, a list of numeric vectors is returned, unless sum is TRUE.

See Also

mass, entropy, basis, i2A


# Elemental composition of a simple compound
makeup("CO2")     # 1 carbon, 2 oxygen
# Formula of lawsonite, with a parenthetical part and a suffix
# Fractional coefficients are OK
reddiv10 <- makeup("C10.6N1.6P0.1")
10*reddiv10 # 106, 16, 1 (Redfield ratio)

# The coefficient for charge is a number with a *preceding* sign
# e.g., ferric iron, with a charge of +3 is expressed as
# Transcribing the formula the way it appears in many 
# publications produces a likely unintended result:
# 3 iron atoms and a charge of +1

# These all represent a single negative charge, i.e., electron
makeup("Z0-1")   # the "old" formula for the electron in thermo()$OBIGT
makeup("(Z-1)")  # the current formula in thermo()$OBIGT

# Hypothetical compounds with negative numbers of elements
makeup("C-4(O-2)")   # -4 carbon, -2 oxygen
makeup("C-4O-2")     # -4 carbon,  1 oxygen, -2 charge
makeup("C-4O-2-2")   # -4 carbon, -2 oxygen, -2 charge

# The 'sum' argument can be used to check mass and charge
# balance in a chemical reaction
formula <- c("H2O", "H+", "(Z-1)", "O2")
mf <- makeup(formula, c(-1, 2, 2, 0.5), sum = TRUE)
all(mf == 0)  # TRUE

[Package CHNOSZ version 2.0.0 Index]