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

1 Answer
Jun 9, 2017

Answer:

The Brønsted-Lowry base.

Explanation:

In this reaction, the #"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, #"HCO"_3^-#. This proton came from the Brønsted-Lowry acid, #"H"_2"O"#, which donated a hydrogen to #"CO"_3^(2-)# to form #"HCO"_3^-# and #"OH"^-#.