Problem: Calculate the concentration of all species in a 0.180 M solution of H2CO3.[H2CO3], [HCO−3], [CO2−3], [H3O+], [OH−] =

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We are being asked to determine the concentration of all species in a 0.180 M solution of H2CO3


Since H2CO3 has a low Ka value, it’s a weak acid. Remember that weak acids partially dissociate in water and that acids donate H+ to the base (water in this case). The dissociation of H2CO3 is as follows:


H2CO3 (aq) + H2O (l)  H3O+(aq) + HCO3- (aq); Ka = 4.2x10-7


From this, we can construct an ICE table. Remember that liquids are ignored in the ICE table.



The Ka expression for H2CO3 is:

Ka = productsreactantsKa =[H3O+][HCO3-][H2CO3]

Note that each concentration is raised by the stoichiometric coefficient: [H2CO3], [H3O+] and [HCO3-] are raised to 1.


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Problem Details

Calculate the concentration of all species in a 0.180 M solution of H2CO3.

[H2CO3], [HCO−3], [CO2−3], [H3O+], [OH−] =

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