Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is sparingly soluble in water. 1 It exhibits low solubility, meaning only a small amount of CaCO3 will dissolve in water to form a saturated solution. The solubility of CaCO3 can be influenced by factors such as temperature and the presence of other substances in the water.
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Key Takeaways: Is CaCO3 Soluble in Water?
- Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is sparingly soluble in water, meaning only a small amount of CaCO3 will dissolve in water to form a saturated solution.
- The solubility of CaCO3 can be influenced by factors such as temperature and the presence of other substances in the water.
- Calcium carbonate is not very soluble in solvents other than water, but it can dissolve in acidic solvents like hydrochloric acid or acetic acid.
Why is Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) sparingly soluble in water?
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is generally considered insoluble in water, although it does exhibit limited solubility. 2 The main reason for its limited solubility is due to its chemical structure and the nature of its intermolecular forces.
Calcium carbonate is an ionic compound consisting of calcium ions Ca2+ and carbonate ions (CO3)2-. 3 In its solid state, calcium carbonate forms a crystal lattice structure held together by ionic bonds. The calcium ions are attracted to the carbonate ions, creating a stable three-dimensional arrangement.
When calcium carbonate is placed in water, the polar water molecules interact with the charged ions in the solid. The oxygen atoms of water molecules, which have a partial negative charge, are attracted to the positively charged calcium ions, while the hydrogen atoms of water molecules, which have a partial positive charge, are attracted to the negatively charged carbonate ions.
However, despite these attractive forces, calcium carbonate’s solubility in water is limited because the energy required to break the existing ionic bonds and disperse the ions throughout the water is relatively high. This energy requirement is not easily met, especially for large amounts of calcium carbonate.
Additionally, calcium carbonate’s limited solubility can be attributed to the common ion effect. Calcium ions Ca2+ and carbonate ions (CO3)2- are already present in small amounts in water due to its natural composition and the dissolution of other compounds.
When calcium carbonate is added to water, it introduces additional calcium and carbonate ions. As a result, the increase in the concentration of these ions can lead to the formation of new solid calcium carbonate, as the equilibrium between dissolved ions and the solid form is disturbed. This contributes to the limited solubility of calcium carbonate in water.
Overall, the combination of the strong ionic bonds in the crystal lattice structure of calcium carbonate and the common ion effect restricts its solubility in water, making it insoluble for most practical purposes.
Can CaCO3 dissolve in other solvents?
In general, calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is not very soluble in solvents other than water. Its solubility in non-aqueous solvents is extremely limited. However, under certain conditions, it can dissolve in acidic solvents such as hydrochloric acid or acetic acid. 4
Calcium carbonate has a low solubility in most organic solvents due to its ionic nature and the lack of polar groups in these solvents. Non-polar solvents like ethanol, methanol, and acetone are not effective in dissolving calcium carbonate. 5
However, when exposed to strong acidic solvents like hydrochloric acid or acetic acid, the carbonate ion in CaCO3 reacts with the acid to form carbon dioxide gas and soluble calcium salts. 6 This reaction results in the dissolution of calcium carbonate in these acidic solvents.
It’s worth noting that the reaction rate and extent of dissolution depend on factors such as concentration, temperature, and the presence of other ions or compounds in the solvent. 7
In summary, while calcium carbonate is generally insoluble in solvents other than water, it can dissolve in acidic solvents like hydrochloric acid or acetic acid through a chemical reaction.
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- Illinois.edu https://www.isws.illinois.edu/pubdoc/cr/iswscr-145.pdf
- Canadian Science Publishing. (n.d.). Canadian Science Publishing. https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/v74-467
- 6.4: Covalent Compounds – Formulas and Names. (2020, July 16). Chemistry LibreTexts. https://chem.libretexts.org/Courses/Modesto_Junior_College/Chemistry_142%3A_Pre-General_Chemistry_(Brzezinski)/CHEM_142%3A_Text_(Brzezinski)/06%3A_Chemical_Compounds/6.04%3A_Covalent_Compounds_-_Formulas_and_Names
- Chemical Reactions 4.4-Lecture Demonstrations-Department of Chemistry-University of Massachusetts Amherst. https://lecturedemos.chem.umass.edu/chemReactions4_4.html
- P. (n.d.). Calcium Carbonate. Calcium Carbonate | CaCO3 | CID 10112 – PubChem. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/10112
- Anti-erosive effect of calcium carbonate suspensions https://doi.org/10.4317%2Fjced.54994
- STEM. https://www.stem.org.uk/elibrary/resource/28503