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Q & A: Carbonates

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What are Carbonates
- Maria (age 12 )
Lahore Pakistan
A:
Carbonates are substances whose molecules contain an ionized carbonate group, CO3--. Sodium carbonate is an example, Na2CO3. This compound is called soda ash, and is used in the manufacture of glass, ceramics, soaps and paper. Sodium bicarbonate is very similar, NaHCO3, which is sold as "baking soda". It has many uses, including cleaning, washing, deodorizing, and neutralizing acids. Calcium carbonate, CaCO3, is a common mineral, named calcite. It is also commonly found dissolved in groundwater and is the whitish crust that forms on the insides of teakettles. Calcite is a major constituent of limestone, marble, and chalk. Potassium carbonate, K2CO3, is known as "potash", is used also in the manufacture of soaps and glasses. Many other carbonates exist, with different positively charged ions.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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