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Carbonate vs. Bicarbonate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 9, 2024
Carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid with the formula CO3^2-, while bicarbonate is a hydrogen carbonate with the formula HCO3^-.

Key Differences

Carbonate compounds contain the carbonate ion (CO3^2-), a base that forms salts and minerals. Bicarbonate is a derivative of carbonate, containing an additional hydrogen ion, making it HCO3^-.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
Carbonates often form rocks and are a major component of limestone and marble. Bicarbonates, like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), are more soluble in water and have different applications, like in baking.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
In chemistry, carbonate ions act as a ligand and can participate in acid-base reactions. Bicarbonate serves as a buffer in biological systems, helping maintain pH balance in blood and other fluids.
Huma Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
Carbonates react with acids to release carbon dioxide, a reaction used in fire extinguishers. Bicarbonates, when heated or mixed with acids, also release CO2, a principle used in cooking and baking.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024
The formation of carbonate minerals plays a crucial role in the carbon cycle. Bicarbonate ions in the ocean also contribute to the carbon cycle but are more involved in short-term processes.
Harlon Moss
Jan 09, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Formula

CO3^2-
HCO3^-
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Hydrogen Ion Presence

Lacks additional hydrogen ion
Contains an additional H+ ion
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Jan 09, 2024

Solubility

Less soluble in water
More soluble in water
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Jan 09, 2024

Common Uses

In rocks, minerals, construction
In cooking, baking, as a buffer
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Reaction with Acids

Produces CO2 and water
Also produces CO2 and water
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Jan 09, 2024
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Carbonate and Bicarbonate Definitions

Carbonate

Participates in acid-base reactions.
Carbonate ions react with acids to release carbon dioxide.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

Bicarbonate

A hydrogen carbonate ion.
Bicarbonate of soda is another name for baking soda.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Carbonate

Contains the ion CO3^2-.
Carbonate minerals are common in sedimentary rocks.
Huma Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Bicarbonate

Acts as a pH buffer.
Bicarbonate helps regulate blood pH in the human body.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

Carbonate

A salt of carbonic acid.
Calcium carbonate is found in limestone and chalk.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Bicarbonate

Soluble in water.
Bicarbonate ions are found in natural waters.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Carbonate

Contributes to the carbon cycle.
Oceanic carbonate sediments are vital in Earth's carbon cycle.
Janet White
Dec 21, 2023

Bicarbonate

Contains the formula HCO3^-.
Sodium bicarbonate is used in antacids.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Carbonate

Used in construction materials.
Carbonate rocks like marble are popular in architecture.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Bicarbonate

Releases CO2 when heated.
Baking powder contains bicarbonate for leavening.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Carbonate

To add carbon dioxide gas to (a beverage) so that bubbles are produced upon release from a container.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Bicarbonate

The polyatomic anion HCO3- or a compound, such as sodium bicarbonate, containing it.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

To burn to carbon; carbonize.
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Dec 20, 2023

Bicarbonate

(chemistry) the univalent anion HCO3-; any salt of carbonic acid in which only one of the hydrogen atoms has been replaced.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

To change into a carbonate.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate used as a mild antacid; bicarbonate of soda
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

The anionic divalent group CO3, derived from carbonic acid, or a compound containing this group.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Bicarbonate

A carbonate in which but half the hydrogen of the acid is replaced by a positive element or radical, thus making the proportion of the acid to the positive or basic portion twice what it is in the normal carbonates; an acid carbonate; - sometimes called supercarbonate.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

Any salt or ester of carbonic acid. Category:en:Carbon
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Bicarbonate

A salt of carbonic acid (containing the anion HCO3) in which one hydrogen atom has been replaced; an acid carbonate
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

(transitive) To charge (often a beverage) with carbon dioxide.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

A salt or carbonic acid, as in limestone, some forms of lead ore, etc.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

A salt or ester of carbonic acid (containing the anion CO3)
Sumera Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

Treat with carbon dioxide;
Carbonated soft drinks
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Dec 20, 2023

Carbonate

Turn into a carbonate
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Dec 20, 2023

FAQs

Where are carbonates found?

Carbonates are found in rocks like limestone and marble.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What is carbonate?

Carbonate is a chemical compound with the formula CO3^2-.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How is bicarbonate formed?

Bicarbonate is formed by adding a hydrogen ion to carbonate.
Huma Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Are carbonate compounds important geologically?

Yes, carbonates are significant in geological formations.
Harlon Moss
Jan 09, 2024

How does bicarbonate maintain pH balance?

Bicarbonate acts as a buffer, neutralizing acids and bases.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

What's a common use of bicarbonate?

Bicarbonate is commonly used in baking and as a pH buffer.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Can carbonate buffer pH?

Yes, carbonate can act as a buffer in certain conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Do carbonates react with acids?

Yes, carbonates react with acids to release CO2.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Is bicarbonate safe for consumption?

Yes, bicarbonate in forms like baking soda is safe for consumption.
Harlon Moss
Jan 09, 2024

Are all carbonates insoluble?

Most carbonates are insoluble in water, with few exceptions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 09, 2024

Do carbonates play a role in the carbon cycle?

Yes, carbonates are integral to the long-term carbon cycle.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 09, 2024

Does carbonate have a role in construction?

Yes, carbonate minerals are used in construction materials.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Is bicarbonate found in the body?

Yes, bicarbonate is a crucial buffer in human blood.
Harlon Moss
Jan 09, 2024

Is bicarbonate more soluble than carbonate?

Yes, bicarbonate is more soluble in water than carbonate.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Can carbonates be used in fire extinguishers?

Yes, the reaction of carbonate with acid is used in fire extinguishers.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How does bicarbonate affect cooking?

Bicarbonate causes dough to rise by releasing CO2 when heated.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Can carbonate ions be a ligand?

Yes, carbonate ions can act as ligands in coordination compounds.
Harlon Moss
Jan 09, 2024

Is bicarbonate important in ocean chemistry?

Yes, bicarbonate plays a role in oceanic carbon buffering.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 09, 2024

How does bicarbonate interact with acids?

Bicarbonate reacts with acids, producing CO2, water, and a salt.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What happens when bicarbonate is heated?

Heating bicarbonate releases carbon dioxide and water.
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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