# What do carbonates produce when decomposed?

Aug 7, 2014

The thermal decomposition of metal carbonates produces metal oxides and carbon dioxide.

Examples are

CaCO₃ → CaO + CO₂

and

CuCO₃ → CuO + CO₂

It takes a lot of energy to decompose the carbonates of metals that are high in the reactivity series (such as sodium and magnesium). In fact, most of the Group 1 metal carbonates do not decompose at the temperatures reached by a Bunsen burner.