Reaction of Carboxylic Acids with Carbonates

Carboxylic acids react with carbonates and hydrogencarbonates to form a salt, carbon dioxide and water.

Carboxylic acid + sodium carbonate → salt + water + carbon dioxide

The hydrogen in the hydroxyl part of the carboxylic group is lost and replaced with the metal of the salt. For example in the reaction of ethanoic acid with sodium carbonate:

equation

The equation above is unbalanced but shows the hydrogen (blue) in the hydroxyl part of the carboxylic group is lost and replaced by the sodium (red). The resulting bond between the sodium and the ethanoate group is ionic. It must not be represented by a line between the two atoms as this would represent a covalent bond.

 

 

Methanoic Acid Reaction with a Carbonate

Methanoic acid + sodium carbonate → sodium formate + water + carbon dioxide

2HCOOH(aq) + Na2CO3(s) → 2HCOONa(aq) +H2O(l) + CO2(g)

equation

 

Ethanoic Acid Reaction with a Carbonate

Ethanoic acid + sodium carbonate → sodium ethanoate + water + carbon dioxide

2CH3COOH(aq) + Na2CO3(s) → 2CH3COONa(aq) +H2O(l) + CO2(g)

equation

 

Propanoic Acid Reaction with a Carbonate

Propanoic acid + sodium carbonate → sodium propanoate + water + carbon dioxide

2C2H5COOH(aq) + Na2CO3(s) → 2C2H5COONa(aq) +H2O(l) + CO2(g)

equation

 

Butanoic Acid Reaction with a Carbonate

Butanoic acid + sodium carbonate → sodium butanoate + water + carbon dioxide

2C3H7COOH(aq) + Na2CO3(s) → 2C3H7COONa(aq) +H2O(l) + CO2(g)

equation