Homework Help

Is sodium bicarbonate NaHC0^3 (s) (baking soda) a salt, base, acid or neither?

user profile pic

ladiicareless | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Is sodium bicarbonate NaHC0^3 (s) (baking soda) a salt, base, acid or neither?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted October 11, 2012 at 12:55 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is an inorganic, ionic salt.  You had it written as table sugar in your question but I edited that out because it is incorrect.  Sodium bicarbonate is commonly known as baking soda and is used for a variety of purposes including baking and cleaning.  It can act as either an acid or a base depending on the situation.  The hydrogen in the bicarbonate (HCO3-) is slightly acidic and can be removed with a strong base to produce the carbonate ion (CO3)2-.  However, in neutral or acidic media the bicarbonate anion acts as a base to become carbonic acid (H2CO3) which breaks down to water and carbon dioxide.  So if you treat NaHCO3 with an acid you will see bubbling occur which is the carbon dioxide being released.  So sodium bicarbonate is a salt and can act as either an acid or a base but most commonly as a base.

user profile pic

nehasrivastav | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

It is a salt and is basic.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes