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Acid + Carbonate = what reaction?

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Q. When a carbonate is added to an acid, what is the reaction and what is the symbol of the carbonate?

OLIVIA K.deleted
- WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA


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A. Carbonate is CO3-2 and will react with acids to give off carbon dioxide (CO2), leaving the acid salt of the original carbonate salt.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

February 23, 2008

Q. What is the evidence that a chemical reaction has taken place in the reaction of an acid with a carbonate?

Tina D.deleted
student year 10 - Sydney, NSW


February 25, 2008

A. I think Mr. Crichton already answered that, Tina. That's a hint, but if it's not clear enough, please try to recast your question in terms of his answer, and we can help you through what you aren't understanding.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 10, 2008

Q. What is the balanced equation for this please?

Acid + carbonate => carbon dioxide + ?

thanks

Freddie T.deleted
- Auckland, New Zealand


November 10, 2008

A. Hi, Freddie. Trevor Crichton already answered your question in words. As the next step, if you give us an unbalanced equation, I'll be happy to balance it for you and explain how it's done. But your question looks like a homework assignment that you want the answer to, without you even understanding the question. So we talked to your teacher and she said: "Tell Freddie to do his own homework!"

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 12, 2010

Q. What does the reaction look like?

Isaac Eng
- Auckland, New Zealand


September 12, 2011

A. Acid + carbonate => carbon dioxide + salt + water

When carbon dioxide reacts, bubbles fizz and lime water will turn cloudy. These are evidence of carbon dioxide reacting in a solution

Serenadeleted
- - Auckland, New Zealand

October 6, 2011

Q. I was just curious whether all metals react with acids, cause I remember hearing from somewhere that gold and silver won't react. Is there something called gold chloride or silver chloride?

Chen Bo Han
- Singapore

October 6, 2011

A. Hi, Chen.

Yes, there is such a thing as gold chloride, and silver chloride is a commonplace. But that doesn't mean that hydrochloric acid will dissolve gold ... it only means that there is some way or other to make gold chloride. Although you can write a balanced equation:
2HCl + Au => H2 + AuCl2
that doesn't mean that the reaction will actually proceed :-)

A balanced equation "balances", but the fact that it would balance if it happened doesn't necessarily drive it towards happening. Only aqua regia (HCl + HNO3) will dissolve gold. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 7, 2011

Q. So, is an acid + carbonate a neutralization? Or does the reaction type fall under a different category?

Ian Nelson
- Toronto, Canada


February 11, 2012

A. Yes,
Acid + Base --> Salt + Carbon dioxide + water

William Yohanes
- Jakarta, Indonesia


March 23, 2012

Q. Is there going to be a reaction out of krypton with calcium and neon?

Ernest Ubisse
- Atlanta, Georgia


March 25, 2012

A. Hi Ernest.

It would not further your education for someone to simply answer your question as written, but I can tell you that you can look up "noble gases" and then you'll find the answer, and you'll know why the answer is what it is. Good luck.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 16, 2012

Q. Hi I am writing just to ask that when hydrochloric acid is put into a beaker with calcium carbonate, a reaction takes place. How can you tell that a reaction has taken place? thank you and by the way this isn't homework it is just an experiment that I'm interested about. Thank You. ;)
p.s I'm 12 so please can you try and make it simple

Lola H.deleted
- UK


Hi Lola. Serena from Auckland already answered that question. Please read and try to understand what she said. Good luck.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 17, 2012

A. It is basically an acid-base reaction.IE: water and a salt are formed.

So, one product would be CaCl2 The other product is what is left over. 2HCl + CaCO3 = CaCl2 + H2CO3.
That product breaks down into water and carbon dioxide gas.

So, you will see a gas evolution. Also another indication that a reaction has taken place is the solution will be warmer.

Check out a chemistry book from your library. This reaction will be in most books. Also you will learn a lot about chemical reactions.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


May 17, 2012

A. Lola,
Look up calcium carbonate on wikipedia, this is a basic reaction and is listed in their examples.

Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.

McHenry, Illinois



June 5, 2012

A. Lola, I think the question you are asking is how can you tell when a chemical reaction takes place. This is not always easy, because many reactions take place but do not show any visible signs of them happening. However, in the case of hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate, the reaction is easy to see because the calcium carbonate starts to fizz and release a gas (carbon dioxide); the calcium carbonate also starts to dissolve in the acid. Normally, calcium carbonate is not soluble in water, but when it is reacted with hydrochloric acid it forms calcium chloride, which is soluble. The overall reaction is:

calcium carbonate + hydrochloric acid = calcium chloride + carbon dioxide + water

Hopefully this answers your question and makes sense to you.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

June 6, 2012

Q. What is the chemistry of an acid-carbonate reaction?

Lisadeleted
- QLD, Australia


June 8, 2012

A. Hi Lisa.

The meaning of a question must be understood before you ask it. As an example, it's fine to ask "What is the volume of a baseball in cubic centimeters?" because you understand the question and are just looking for the answer. But it is no good to ask "What is the volume of a baseball in cubic parsecs?" if you don't know what a parsec is because you don't even understand the question. (The volume of a baseball in cubic parsecs is a very small number by the way).

In view of the several previously posted answers to your question, I think you are just stringing words together that you don't understand yet. So what exactly does the phrase "What is the chemistry?" mean to you? Good luck.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 25, 2012

Q. "Lime scale (calcium carbonate) can be removed from kettles using cleaning agents containing sulfamic acid solution. Describe briefly and in your own words how you could determine the enthalpy change associated with this reaction."

Rebeccadeleted
- Brisbane, Australia


August 29, 2012

Hi Rebecca. You would like someone to describe this for you in your own words?  :-)

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 29, 2012

A. Ooh...homework! Pity you didn't even attempt to disguise the question, but have asked it exactly as written either on the teacher's board or the text book!

Anyway, may I suggest you start by googling some of the terms in your question. Put in Enthalpy and you will get millions of hits.

Alternatively try your local library. Search for Enthalpy and possibly calorimeters and you should be on your way.

Brian Terry
aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, United Kingdom

September 25, 2012

Q. Hi. I have a question.
In my assessment book, it says that hydrochloride acid + sodium carbonate = sodium chloride + carbon dioxide.
But in school they told me that hydrochloride acid + sodium carbonate = sodium chloride + carbon dioxide + water.
So which one is correct?

Jessica [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Singapore


September 25, 2012

A. Hi Jessica.

James Watts, above, gave the equation for a rather similar question involving Calcium Carbonate rather than Sodium Carbonate as:

"2HCl + CaCO3 = CaCl2 + H2CO3.
That product breaks down into water and carbon dioxide gas."

The valence of Na is +1 whereas the valence of Ca is +2, so let's try:

2HCl + Na2CO3 = 2NaCl + H2CO3.
The H2CO3, i.e., carbonic acid, breaks down to H2O and CO2 ...

So what you were told in school is more accurate than what is written in your assessment book.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 25, 2012

A. Dear Jessica,

One molecule of water is the byproduct of the reaction of two molecules of hydrogen chloride and one sodium carbonate. If you look at the reaction:

Na2CO3 + 2 HCl --> 2 NaCl + CO2 + H2O

But as this reaction occurs in a water matrix, the extra molecule of water is insignificant almost every time.

Hope you could solve your issue! Regards,

Daniel Montanes
- Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina


September 25, 2012

A. Your school answer is the most correct. Some places do not consider the formation of more water in a water solution to be an important "product". But, you cannot balance the equation without it.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


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Am I the only grumpy old chemist to find this so sad. Chemistry is not something that happens on the web or on paper. It is real and it is FUN.
If your teacher will not show you what happens, do it yourself.
You need some carbonate, some scale from mum's kettle, bicarbonate of soda from the kitchen or some marble chips from the driveway. Most acids are difficult to get but vinegar (acetic acid) works fine.
What happens when you mix them? If you are really clever, you can collect the gas and see what it does to a lighted spill.
One day you too may be a grumpy old chemist!
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


Geoff, I don't know how it is on your side of the pond, but here many students want it handed to them with little or no time consumed. Texting is far far more important.

Then, the simple experiment that you suggest is not even considered by most students. Some teachers are great and some just fill the squares. A friend of mine did 45 experiments in one school year with his 8th grade classes.

There are a few really great students out there that are inquisitive and dedicated. But since the rewards are minimal for thinking, the % gets smaller each year.

Yes, I am old, called the grinchfather and a sub teacher.
James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


Grumpy old man #3 checking in ...
Yes, it's often the students, but not always. The pressure to get rid of chemicals and work strictly with internet and Dr. Pepper & lemons is relentless. Try simply having HCl available in a high school lab in my enlightened East Coast area: "Are you trying to kill our children with your fetish for toxic chemicals?!".
Is your high school lab optimized for instruction, or full of too many such compromises, Jim? And was that 8th-grade teacher allowed to bring HCl into grade school? (Maybe the school administrator and science teacher who talk to me are exaggerating). Meanwhile, youtube is better than nothing:

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Not so old but sharing your opinions, I'm checking in, too.

Here in Argentina we see so much lack of interest in some subjects, as chemistry (I'm not an example, I love chemistry and am still working on it), math, physics, biology ... All natural sciences are subjects that only a few follow, and we lack technicians in that matter. As we lack technicians, we lack industry. As we lack industry, we cannot develop ourselves as a country. It's an opinion from this corner of the world.

I am a chemist, and I'm used to strange looks when I say that. I hope that some day that will change somehow.
Daniel Montanes
- Cañuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Hi Ted, it is very similar here. 1N HCl does not catch too much grief as well as 1 N NaOH.
Many have to submit a chemical inventory at the end of the year.
Don't ask - Don't tell is one approach.
It is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission is another.
Get rid of most of the inventory at the end of the year.
Do not requisitions "bad" stuff, buy it out of your own pocket.

It is hard to find time for experiments when you have to spend time on 6th grade level of math and heaven forbid applied algebra.
AP and some honors chemistry are good classes.
All the rest should be taught on a survey of chemistry level rather than chemistry which is now REQUIRED in FL.
James Watts
- Navarre, Florida



November 17, 2012

Q. Why when you react calcium carbonate with acetic (ethanoic) acid how will it (in the terms of lime scale) actually get rid of it. What does it do to the calcium carbonate that dissolves it?

Harri deleted
- Hamphire, UK


November 19, 2012

A. Hi Harri. The reaction is the same as shown under September 25, 2012 except using acetic acid rather than hydrochloric acid. The acetic acid converts the calcium carbonate to calcium acetate, water, and oxygen.

It is difficult to explain "why" because the depth of explanation should depend on what grade you are in (what depth of knowledge you already have that we can build on), and because as Richard Feynmann told us, no matter how deeply we study, we actually only learn "how" in greater and greater depth, we never learn "why" :-)

But in reasonably simple terms, the reason it does this is that the reaction products have a lower energy state than the original ingredients. So putting the ingredients together releases a small amount of heat, and as the heat dissipates, the reaction flows one way instead of back and forth. And once the carbon dioxide fizzes off, it's no longer there, further preventing the reaction from reversing. If you have a coin standing on edge on a table, and you shake the table, the coin will fall over on its face and stay there. Further shaking is very unlikely to get it back up on its edge because it's at a lower energy level when it's lying on its face. In the same way, heat is released by this reaction, so it doesn't flow the opposite way.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 29, 2012

Q. Is a reaction of any acid and any metal carbonate going to be endothermic like ethanoic acid and sodium carbonate?

Miles [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- London


December 2, 2012

A. Hi, Miles.

I would have doubted it. Most simple reactions are exothermic. I believed that reactions involving acids plus metal carbonates are exothermic. But I see a PhD on the internet describing an experiment proving it to be endothermic. I think the idea of your lab is to put a thermometer into the reaction cup before during and after, and see whether the thermometer reads higher (exothermic) or lower (endothermic) as the components mix. Good luck.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 11, 2012

A. Hello Miles,

There are many variables making this kind of reactions endo or exothermic. As they have as result a gas (and the reactives are liquid or solid), the final entropy of the system is many times higher as the initial entropy. This has no relation with enthalpy variation (negative means endothermic, positive means exothermic).

Enthalpy is just an experimental value, that can be measured theoretically with some physicochemical models, but its root is in experimental values. There are tables with enthalpy values that can help people to estimate enthalpy variation, thus being able to tell if a reaction is exo or endothermic.

So, there are infinite possibilities... Good luck!

Daniel Montanes
- Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina



January 9, 2013

Q. Hi,

I am doing 8th grade science fair and I have reacted every carbonate I can find with acids (HCl, nitric, sulfuric, phosphoric).

My first question is probably easy: does the CO2 and H2O always form because carbonic acid was formed first?

I have been researching for MONTHS and cannot find the answer to this question: what are the intermediate steps to each reaction.

Do you know if every Group 1 & 2 metal carbonate + acid have the same reaction steps? Are they all like this?

MCO3 + HA = MA + MHCO3 + HA =
= MA + carbonic acid =
= MA + CO2 + H2O

Thanks! Emma

Emma [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Miami, Florida, USA


January 15, 2013

A. Dear Emma,

The carbonic acid is very unstable as itself, as it cannot be measured with any instrument. There are theories that mention the carbonic acid as an intermediary to carbon dioxide and water, but the state "carbonic acid" readily decomposes because of the low energy and high entropy of the product states.

It is, the most energetic and organized state, tends to decompose into lower energy and more disorganized states. As you are forming a gas, the product state is very disorganized, and thus the entropy is high.

Carbonic acid is a theoretical substance that we cannot handle in experiments, so its energy must be very high, and so it is very unstable. Some facts in chemistry are empirical, and so comes a theory (later) that sustains the fact ;)

Hope this clear some of your doubts! Regards,

Daniel Montanes
- Canuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina


January 18, 2013

thumbsup2Thank you! That really helps and that's probably why I couldn't find a whole lot of information :)

Emma [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Miami, Florida, USA


January 30, 2013

Q. Please tell me sir. What is the reaction between palmitic acid and sodium carbonate?

Sudhakar M.deleted
- Hyderabad


February 2, 2013

A. Hi Sudhakar. I'm happy to help, but believe it's injurious to education to offer an answer unless the student understands the question. To assure me, please write the left hand side of the equation, and I'll supply the right. Please remember that in writing chemistry formulas, proper spelling and capitalization are essential; anything less is an outright error that may get you flunked. Good luck.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 16, 2013

Q1. Sir, Can you please explain to me how non-metallic oxides are acidic in nature?

Q2. And also whether slaked lime and lime water are different from each other?

Navrishka Fernandes
- Ponda,Goa,India


June 23, 2013

A1. Hi. Navrishka. Can you give us an example of a non-metallic oxide and tell us what "acidic in nature" means to you, so that we are confident that you truly understand the question you are asking?

A2. Slaked lime is Ca(OH)2. It may be a solid or it may have water added and be a solution. Limewater is a "saturated solution" of slaked lime. I.e., if you add slaked lime to water, and keep going until no more can dissolve and it starts accumulating as a sludge at the bottom, and then you put it through a filter so none of the sludge gets through, so you have the maximum possible amount of slaked lime dissolved in water, that is lime water.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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