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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Carbonate \Car"bon*ate\, n. [Cf. F. carbonate.] (Chem.) A salt or carbonic acid, as in limestone, some forms of lead ore, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1794, from French carbonate "salt of carbonic acid" (Lavoisier), from Modern Latin carbonatem "a carbonated (substance)," from Latin carbo (see carbon).


1805, "to form into a carbonate," from carbonate (n.) by influence of French carbonater "transform into a carbonate." Meaning "to impregnate with carbonic acid gas (i.e. carbon dioxide)" is from 1850s. Related: Carbonated; carbonating.


n. Any salt or ester of carbonic acid. vb. (context transitive English) To charge (often a beverage) with carbon dioxide.

  1. n. a salt or ester of carbonic acid (containing the anion CO3)

  2. v. treat with carbon dioxide; "Carbonated soft drinks"

  3. turn into a carbonate


In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid, characterized by the presence of the carbonate ion, . The name may also mean an ester of carbonic acid, an organic compound containing the carbonate group C(=O)(O–).

The term is also used as a verb, to describe carbonation: the process of raising the concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate ions in water to produce carbonated water and other carbonated beverages — either by the addition of carbon dioxide gas under pressure, or by dissolving carbonate or bicarbonate salts into the water.

In geology and mineralogy, the term "carbonate" can refer both to carbonate minerals and carbonate rock (which is made of chiefly carbonate minerals), and both are dominated by the carbonate ion, . Carbonate minerals are extremely varied and ubiquitous in chemically precipitated sedimentary rock. The most common are calcite or calcium carbonate, CaCO, the chief constituent of limestone (as well as the main component of mollusc shells and coral skeletons); dolomite, a calcium-magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO); and siderite, or iron(II) carbonate, FeCO, an important iron ore. Sodium carbonate ("soda" or "natron") and potassium carbonate ("potash") have been used since antiquity for cleaning and preservation, as well as for the manufacture of glass. Carbonates are widely used in industry, e.g. in iron smelting, as a raw material for Portland cement and lime manufacture, in the composition of ceramic glazes, and more.

Carbonate (disambiguation)

Carbonate may refer to:

Usage examples of "carbonate".

If the dish becomes stained during evaporation, take up with a few drops of hydrochloric and sulphurous acids, evaporate, and then treat with carbonate of soda.

This result is analogous to that which follows from the immersion of leaves in a strong solution of one part of the carbonate to 109, or 146, or even 218 of water, for the leaves are then paralysed and no inflection ensues, though the glands are blackened, and the protoplasm in the cells of the tentacles undergoes strong aggregation.

A piece of leaf immersed in a few drops of a solution of one part of carbonate of ammonia to 437 of water had all the glands blackened and all the tentacles inflected in 5 m.

The first effect of the carbonate and of certain other salts of ammonia, as well as of some other fluids, is the darkening or blackening of the glands.

A similar result followed from an immersion of only 15 minutes in a solution of one part of carbonate of ammonia to 218 of water, and the adjoining cells of the tentacles, on which the papillae were seated, now likewise contained aggregated masses of protoplasm.

If there be great prostration, with cold extremities, the carbonate of ammonia should be administered, in doses of from one to two grains, every second hour, in gum arabic mucilage.

We learn from the foregoing experiments that the margins of the leaves curl inwards when excited by the mere pressure of objects not yielding any soluble matter, by objects yielding such matter, and by some fluidsnamely an infusion of raw meat and a week solution of carbonate of ammonia.

The statocysts in such creatures open to the outside world through narrow apertures, and the statoliths are not bits of calcium carbonate but are, rather, sand particles the creature actually places within the statocysts.

Thus a particle of sugar added to the secretion round a gland causes a much greater increase of secretion, and much less aggregation, than does a particle of carbonate of ammonia given in the same manner.

We shall hereafter see that the purple fluid within the sensitive filaments of Dionaea, which do not secrete, likewise undergoes aggregation from the action of a weak solution of carbonate of ammonia.

Other fluids, besides a solution of the carbonate, for instance an infusion of raw meat, produce this same effect.

After a brief free-swimming phase, the haptophytes constructed for themselves tiny, intricate suits of armor from calcium carbonate.

One of these same leaves was then placed in a weak solution of the carbonate, and after 1 hr. 45 m.

I then added a minute drop of a solution of one part of carbonate of ammonia to 109 of water, and after 1 hr. examined the specimens.

A leaf from this plant, and, for comparison, one from a fresh plant, were both immersed for 1 hr. in a rather strong solution of carbonate of ammonia.