# In the reaction CO_3^(2-) + H_2O rightleftharpoons HCO_3^- + OH^- what is the carbonate ion acting as?

Jun 9, 2017

The Brønsted-Lowry base.

#### Explanation:

In this reaction, the ${\text{CO}}_{3}^{2 -}$ species is acting as the Brønsted-Lowry base.

A Brønsted-Lowry base in an aqueous chemical reaction is one that, in the forward process, accepts a hydrogen ion in solution. We can clearly see that as the reaction proceeds, the carbonate species accepts a proton to form its conjugate acid, ${\text{HCO}}_{3}^{-}$. This proton came from the Brønsted-Lowry acid, $\text{H"_2"O}$, which donated a hydrogen to ${\text{CO}}_{3}^{2 -}$ to form ${\text{HCO}}_{3}^{-}$ and ${\text{OH}}^{-}$.