Specification Point 4.36C (Paper 2C Only):
Describe the reactions of aqueous solutions of carboxylic acids with metals and metal carbonates

Carboxylic acids: A homologous series of organic compounds that all contain the same functional group –COOH.

Reactions of aqueous carboxylic acids with metals and metal carbonates

Carboxylic acids are weak acids, so they can donate a hydrogen ion (H+) in acid-base reactions:

Metals

Carboxylic acids will react with metals to produce a salt and hydrogen gas:

Metal  +   Carboxylic Acid   →   Salt   +   Hydrogen

Example: Reaction of ethanoic acid and magnesium

Magnesium  +   Ethanoic Acid   →   Magnesium Acetate   +   Hydrogen

       Mg                  2CH3COOH                  Mg(CH3COO)2                             H2

Non – Metals

Non-metals will react with metal carbonates to produce a salt, water and carbon dioxide:

Metal Carbonate   +   Carboxylic Acid   →   Salt   +   Water   +   Carbon Dioxide

Example: Reaction of ethanoic acid and sodium carbonate

Sodium Carbonate + Ethanoic Acid → Sodium Ethoxide + Water + Carbon Dioxide

          Na2CO3                2CH3COOH            2CH3COONa        H2O                  CO2

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Author: Jamie

Jamie got a First class degree in Chemistry from Oxford University before going on to teach chemistry full time as a professional tutor. He’s put together these handy revision notes to match the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry specification so you can learn exactly what you need to know for your exams.