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

Expert Answers
ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

nehasrivastav | Student

It is a salt and is basic.