Carbonate ion (CO₃²⁻)

Carbonate ion (CO₃²⁻)

A compound ion produced from carbonic acid by releasing protons.



carbonate ion, acidic residue ion, anion, ion, compound ion, carbonic acid, carbonates, inorganic chemistry, chemistry

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Carbonate ion CO₃²⁻


Molar mass: 60.1 g/mol

Shape: triangle

Bond angle: 120°


The carbonate ion is a particle bound by covalent bonds; it carries two negative electrical charges. The pi bonds are delocalised within the ion. The ion forms salts with metal ions and the ammonium ion. Carbonates do not dissolve in water (except for sodium carbonate, which is weakly soluble).

Occurrence and production

Carbonate ions are formed from carbonic acid with the loss of two protons. Calcium carbonate is one of the most common minerals on Earth; it occurs in numerous forms, such as limestone, marble, stalactites and stalagmites, corals, egg shells and dolomite, a mineral found in a rock that forms whole mountains. In laboratories, carbon dioxide is produced from limestone with the use of hydrochloric acid.


Sodium carbonate is used for water softening and glass production. Calcium carbonate is used in the construction industry as a raw material and to produce calcium oxide (known as caustic lime, quicklime or burnt lime).



Related items

Calcium carbonate (CaCO₃)

Limestone is a widely and diversely used material.

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) (intermediate)

Colourless, odourless, heavier-than-air gas. Necessary for the photosynthesis of plants.

Carbon monoxide (CO) (intermediate)

Colourless, odourless gas, highly toxic to humans and animals in high concentration.

Carbonic acid (H₂CO₃)

Colourless, odourless liquid produced by dissolving carbon dioxide in water.

Nitric acid (HNO₃)

One of the oxoacids of nitrogen. A colourless compound with a pungent odour, a strong oxidant.

Permanganate ion (MnO₄⁻)

Potassium permanganate is used as a disinfectant.

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