What You Need to Know About Hydrogen Carbonate: Properties, Use, and Benefits

What is hydrogen carbonate?
Hydrogen carbonate, also called bicarbonate, is an acid salt formed from carbonic acid and contains hydrogen carbonate ions. Most hydrogen carbonates are thermally unstable and decompose into carbonates, carbon dioxide and water. Alkali metal hydrogen carbonate is soluble in water, and it can react with acid rapidly to release carbon dioxide gas, and the corresponding normal salt carbonate can be obtained by adding alkali.
Common hydrogen carbonates are soluble in water. Such as: potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium bicarbonate, and other bicarbonates are soluble.

What are hydrogen carbonate applications?
Hydrogen carbonate is a commonly used chemical reagent. Some common soluble hydrogen carbonate can undergo the following chemical reactions:

1. Reaction with acid

(HCO3)- + H+ = CO2 ↑+ H2O

2. Reaction with base

(HCO3)- + OH- = (CO3)2- +H2O

3. Double hydrolysis with salts of strong acids and weak bases

3(HCO3)- + Al3+ = Al(OH)3 + 3CO2↑

4. Thermal decomposition

2NaHCO3 = Na2CO3 + H2O +CO2↑

In medicine, hydrogen carbonate also has many applications. For example, sodium bicarbonate is used to treat hyperacidity, relieve metabolic acidosis, and prevent uric acid kidney stones. At the same time, hydrogen carbonate also plays a very important role in physiology. The blood contains a buffer solution composed of H2CO3-HCO3− to resist large pH changes and maintain a suitable pH for enzymes and other biomolecules.

What You Need to Know About Hydrogen Carbonate: Properties, Use, and Benefits

How are hydrogen carbonate and carbonate related?
Structurally speaking, hydrogen carbonate and carbonate contain HCO3- ions, while the other contains CO32−. But they have similar chemical properties, for example, both can react with hydrochloric acid to produce the same substances, water and carbon dioxide. But carbonates are generally less soluble than hydrogen carbonates. Water-insoluble carbonates are generally decomposed by heat, such as CaCO3 can be decomposed by heat, and water-soluble hydrogen carbonates are easily decomposed by heat. For example, NaHCO3 and Ca(HCO3)2 can be decomposed by heat.

Common hydrogen carbonate
Sodium hydrogen carbonate

Sodium hydrogen carbonate is one of common hydrogen carbonate. Common name for sodium hydrogen carbonate includes baking soda, heavy cassia, etc. It is a white fine crystal. Sodium hydrogen carbonate is an acid salt formed by neutralizing a strong base and a weak acid. It is weakly alkaline when dissolved in water. It begins to decompose gradually above 127°C to form sodium carbonate, carbon dioxide and water, and completely decomposes at 270°C. Therefore, this characteristic is often used as a leavening agent in the process of food production.

What You Need to Know About Hydrogen Carbonate: Properties, Use, and Benefits