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Decomposition of a Carbonate
 

Carbonates are compounds formed between a metal and the carbonate ion, (CO3)2-. When a carbonate decomposes, a metal oxide and carbon dioxide gas are produced. The general pattern of a decomposition of a carbonate reaction is:
        MCO
3 --> MO + CO2 (M is used to represent the metal. CO3 is carbonate.)
Look at the example below.
Example #1:
      Na
2CO3(s) --> Na2O(s) + CO2(g)
Sodium carbonate decomposes to form sodium oxide and carbon dioxide gas.

Now let’s go step by step.
Predict the products when solid calcium carbonate decomposes.
Description of Action
Action
1. Write the formula for the given reactant. CaCO3(s) -->
2. On the products side of the equation, write the formulas for the metal oxide and carbon dioxide gas separated by a + sign. Be sure to remember to cross charges between the metal and oxygen when writing the formula for the metal oxide. CaCO3(s) --> CaO(s) + CO2(g)
3. Balance the equation CaCO3(s) --> CaO(s) + CO2(g)
(It is already balanced.)

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