What makes carbonates more likely to produce a salt in a reaction than nitrates?

1 Answer
May 5, 2016

If you refer to reaction with acids, you need a base. Carbonate ion serves as a base but nitrate ion easentily does not, in water solvent.


It does not have to be a strong base. A weak base is enough to react with a strong acid like #"HCl"#. If the acid is weak, let us say the acetic acid in vinegar, then the base has to be stronger than the conjugate base of your acid (meaning stronger than acetate ion, for a reaction with vinegar).

Carbonate ion is a weak base, but it is stronger than the conjugate bases of many acids. So reactions of carbonates with both strong and weak acids are commonplace.