Question
Fri April 18, 2014 By: Kriti Agrawal

Is NAHCO3 an acidic salt or a basic salt? It can be an acidic salt because all its hydrogen ions are not replaced.At the same time,it can be a basic salt beacuse it will further react with an acid to produce a normal salt and it is possible only for a base (or basic salt) to react with an acid.

Expert Reply
Mon April 21, 2014
Sodium bicarbonate is a weak base with pH slightly above 7.
 

However, Sodium bicarbonate can act as either an acid or a base. Dissolved in water, the pH will be slightly higher than 7, which is basic.

An acid is proton donor. A base is a proton acceptor.

Combined with acetic acid (vinegar), sodium bicarbonate is a base, accepting a proton from the acetic acid (then decomposing to water and carbon dioxide).

CH3COOH + NaHCO3 → CH3COONa + H2CO3
H2CO3 → H2O + CO2

However, combined with strong base such as sodium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate can donate a proton. Hydroxide becomes water, and bicarbonate becomes carbonate.

NaHCO3+ NaOH → H2O + Na2CO3

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