Carbonic acid, also known as H2CO3, is a carbon-containing molecule with the chemical formula H2CO3. A minor amount of this molecule can be found in carbon dioxide solutions including water. Because this molecule contains one carbon-oxygen double bond, its chemical formula can also be represented as OC(OH)2 due to the fact that it contains one carbon-oxygen double bond.
Due to the fact that it is the only acid that can be expelled in a gaseous condition by the human lungs, carbonic acid is commonly referred to as “respiratory acid.” It is a weak acid that generates carbonate and bicarbonate salts when exposed to air.
H2CO3 has the ability to dissolve limestone, resulting in the creation of calcium bicarbonate ((Ca(H2CO3)2) as a result. Many of the characteristics of limestone, such as stalagmites and stalactites, are the result of this process.
Preparations of Carbonic acid-H2CO3
Carbonic acid has a structure composed of one carbon-oxygen double bond and two carbon-oxygen single bonds. A single hydrogen atom is connected to each of the oxygen atoms involved in a single bond with the carbon atoms involved in the connection.
Throughout many temperate habitats, carbonic acid, which is generated as a result of the dissolution and hydrolysis of CO2 in water, is the most important natural leaching agent. It is both weak and unstable, swiftly dissociating into hydrogen ions (H+) and bicarbonate ions (HCO3-), which are then released into the environment.
Properties of Carbonic acid-H2CO3
This subsection contains a list of some of the most significant physical and chemical features of carbonic acid.
1. Physical Characteristics
In terms of molar mass, carbonic acid has a molecular mass of 62.024 grams per mole.
• It has a density of 1.668 grammes per cubic centimetre when in its standard state of composition.
6.35 is the pKa value of the chemical molecule H2CO3.
• The bicarbonate is the conjugate base that corresponds to carbonic acid in the equation.
• This chemical is most commonly seen in solution form. Although it has been stated that NASA scientists have created solid H2CO3samples, it is unclear whether this is true.
2. Chemical Characteristics
• H2CO3 is a weak acid that is unstable in the natural environment.
• In the presence of water, it undergoes partial dissociation, resulting in the formation of H+ and HCO3- (bicarbonate) ions.
• Carbonic acid is a diprotic acid, and as a result, it can react with water to generate two types of salts: bicarbonates and carbonates.
• The addition of a modest amount of a base to H2CO3 results in the formation of bicarbonate salts, whereas the addition of an excess of a base results in the formation of carbonate salts.
Observers should keep in mind that carbonic acid can be produced as a by-product of industrial fermentation operations or the combustion of fossil fuels on a large scale in industry.
Uses of Carbonic Acid
With a wide range of uses, H2CO3 is a very important chemical to understand. Some of these applications for carbonic acid are listed in the next section.
Aerated drinks such as carbonated water, sparkling wine, and other aerated beverages are created through the use of carbonic acid.
- In the precipitation of several ammonium salts, such as ammonium persulfate, H2CO3 is utilised as a solvent.
- It aids in the removal of carbon dioxide from the body’s atmosphere.
- The protonation of various bases containing nitrogen in blood serum occurs as a result of the presence of H2CO3
- Carbonic acid is used to treat ringworm and other dermatitides by applying it directly to the diseased area. • Solutions containing this chemical are also particularly effective at cleaning contact lenses.
- This medication can be used by mouth to cause vomiting anytime it is necessary (such as in drug overdose cases).
Carbonic acid is extremely important in the body
Known as an intermediary in the transport of carbon dioxide out of the human body through the process of respiratory gas exchange, the bicarbonate ion is known to be present in the body. The hydration reactions that carbon dioxide undergoes are extremely sluggish, especially in the lack of a sufficient catalyst for the reaction. The presence of the enzyme family known as carbonic anhydrases in the red blood cells, on the other hand, accelerates the rate of the reaction. Carbonic anhydrase enzymes are responsible for catalysing the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into dissociated ions of carbonic acid in the presence of water. This results in the formation of bicarbonate anions, which are dissolved in the blood plasma. After being breathed, the catalysed reaction occurs again in the lungs, resulting in the creation of carbon dioxide CO2.
Carbonic acid is extremely important in the oceans
Because of the ocean’s ability to absorb excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (mainly due to human activities), scientists predict that the pH of the ocean’s water has dropped by around 0.1 pH unit. The ingested carbon dioxide combines with the ocean water, resulting in the formation of H2CO3. Ocean acidification is the term typically used to describe this process.
Carbonic acid is a chemical compound that is frequently utilised in the creation of soft drinks, artificially carbonated sparkling wines, and other sparkling beverages. Bicarbonates (also known as carbonates of hydrogen) and carbonates are two names for carbonic acid salts.