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Carbonic Acid

Definition - What does Carbonic Acid mean?

Carbonic acid is an inorganic compound with the formula H2CO3. It is comprised of water and carbon dioxide. Carbonic acid has a molar mass of about 62 g/mol. Carbonic acid, while relatively weak when compared with other acids, can cause corrosion depending on the chemical composition of the material. Carbonic acid is one of the most common causes of low pH levels in water.

Corrosionpedia explains Carbonic Acid

Carbonic acid is a very common type of acid because of the abundance of carbon dioxide and water. Carbonic acid is unique in that it is contains carbon but it is an inorganic compound.

Carbonic acid is found in the blood stream. The carbon dioxide in blood bonds with the water in the blood. Carbonic acid is also commonly used to carbonate beverages. It has many other industrial uses as well.

Carbonic acid is the cause of some cave formations. This happens when rainwater combines with carbon dioxide and forms carbonic acid, which reacts with the calcium in limestone and erodes it over time.

Just like carbonic acid can erode limestone, it also has the potential to corrode steel. Iron carbonate is formed when carbonic acid is brought into contact with some steels. Iron carbonate can cause a higher rate of iron loss from the base steel than would occur if the iron carbonate was not formed.

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