Carbon dioxide is produced when zinc carbonate is heated strongly. A) Write a the balanced chemical equation for the reaction that takes place. B) Name the process that takes place as the Zinc...

Carbon dioxide is produced when zinc carbonate is heated strongly.

A) Write a the balanced chemical equation for the reaction that takes place.

B) Name the process that takes place as the Zinc Carbonate is heated.

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t-nez | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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A. The balanced equation for this reaction is:

`ZnCO_3 -> ZnCO + CO_2`

The equation is balanced as written.

B. The process that is taking place is thermal decomposition. A decomposition reaction is one is which there is one reactant that breaks down into two or more products.  Carbonate-containing compounds have a tendency to decompose when heated, producing CO2 and an oxide. 

Another example of the decomposition of a carbonate is the heating of calcium carbonate, CaCO3, to produce CaO which is used in cement. CO2 is given off in the process. Sodium carbonate is more temperature stable, but sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3, baking soda) decomposes on heating and the resulting  CO2 gas helps baked goods rise in the oven.

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