Astrophysics (Index)About

carbonate system

(system governing water and CO2 in the presence of each other)

The carbonate system is an interacting set of chemical reactions and their characteristics that determine the equilibrium of the chemistry resulting from water and CO2 in each others presence given a certain temperature and pressure.

Water and carbon dioxide react to each other to create carbonic acid (H2CO3) which dissociates into a hydrogen ion and bicarbonate (HCO3), which in turn, dissociates into a hydrogen ion and carbonate (CO3). When sufficient of these chemicals are created to balance them with the opposite reactions, a balance is obtained. This determines the acidity of such water, which includes any water in the presence of the Earth's atmosphere such as oceans, lakes, etc.

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