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Bicarbonate Alkalinity

Definition - What does Bicarbonate Alkalinity mean?

Bicarbonate alkalinity is the most prominent form of alkalinity in water. The bicarbonate ion chemical formula is HCO3. The structure of bicarbonate, the ion that causes bicarbonate alkalinity, is composed of a carbon atom in the center of the formation with three oxygen atoms attached to it. One of the oxygen atoms has a hydrogen atom bonded with it. Bicarbonate alkalinity aids in neutralizing the acids in water, therefore helping to balance the pH.

Corrosionpedia explains Bicarbonate Alkalinity

The alkalinity of water is almost always, at least partially, a result of bicarbonate alkalinity. Alkali, such as bicarbonate, serves as a type of buffer. Buffers are used to balance the pH of a solution. Without buffers, excessive acidity could cause negative effects to the solution itself or materials in contact with the solution. An acidic solution that has not been neutralized can cause corrosion to occur on the materials that it touches.

Bicarbonate alkalinity occurs as a result of the presence of bicarbonate, which is formed in water when CO2 molecules are brought into contact with carbonates. Other atoms can join with bicarbonate ions to create different bicarbonate compounds. For example, a sodium ion, when exposed to a bicarbonate ion, may form NaHCO3, or sodium bicarbonate, which is also known as baking soda.

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