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Thread: carbonic acid

  1. #1 carbonic acid 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    will carbonic acid be formed in an aqueous solution of water and dissolved carbon dioxide? i think they bubble carbon dioxide into soda, and i've heard that for that reason it contains carbonic acid. so, what i've come up with is that a hydroxide ion attacks the carbon dioxide, breaks one of the carbon-oxygen bonds, and creates carbonate... i don't know if that can actually happen, i just know that it does give you carbonate...


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    Forum Sophomore Matt Lacey's Avatar
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    Strictly speaking the form of the carbonate depends on the pH. If you bubble carbon dioxide into an alkaline solution of something like sodium hydroxide (high pH) you'll get the fully deprotonated CO<sub>3</sub><sup>2-</sup> anion. As the pH decreases you'll get more of the hydrogencarbonate HCO<sub>3</sub><sup>-</sup> anion. At acidic pH you'll get the fully protonated H<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub> species which is carbonic acid.

    OH<sup>-</sup> + CO<sub>2</sub> --> HCO<sub>3</sub> is a reasonable assumption to make, since the actual reaction is quite slow and hydrogencarbonate is the most stable species at neutral pH.

    I have no idea if any of that cleared up anything for you, lol.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    good answer, that helped. thank you.
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