Silver Carbonate Formula and Solubility

Maram Ghadban, Laura Foist
  • Author
    Maram Ghadban

    A freelance tutor equipped with a bachelor's of science in chemical engineering. Graduated from the American University of the Middle East with a GPA of 3.87, performed a number of scientific primary and secondary research. Tutored university level students in various courses in chemical engineering, math, and art. Has experience tutoring middle school and high school level students in science courses.

    View bio
  • Instructor
    Laura Foist

    Laura has a Masters of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and has taught college Science.

    View bio
Explore silver carbonate. Understand the chemical formula of silver carbonate, its solubility in water, its properties such as molar mass, and its uses. Updated: 11/09/2021

Table of Contents


Silver Carbonate

Silver carbonate is an inorganic chemical compound that is comprised of a metal cation and a carbonate anion. This compound is a carbonate salt that can be found in the earth's crust. It has other aliases which are the following:

  • Disilver carbonate, which is its IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name.
  • Silver(I) Carbonate.
  • Fetizon's reagent. This name was given because silver carbonate acts as a reagent in Fetozon's reactions, where primary and secondary alcohols are oxidized to aldehydes and ketones respectively.
  • CAS 534-16-7. The CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) registry number is a unique number that identifies chemical compounds and substances.

Silver carbonate is made of a transition metal, silver, ionically bonding with the carbonate anion. It is a given fact that transition metals often exhibit different colors because of their partially filled d-orbitals; the electrons excite and move to a higher energy level when they are exposed to light. The electrons then de-excite (move to a lower energy level), releasing a visible light wavelength. The color of silver carbonate is yellow but they do appear grayish most of the time. Silver is the element that's contributing to the gray shades. This carbonate salt is often used in coloring potteries.

Silver Carbonate Formula

Silver carbonate is a salt that is comprised of a metal cation and a carbonate anion. Silver cations transfer a single electron to the carbonate anions. The carbonate anion is made of one carbon bonded with three oxygens. One oxygen is double-bonded with the carbon while the other two are single-bonded with it. The lone pairs are as follows:

  • Carbon: 0 lone pairs.
  • Double bonded oxygen: 2 electron lone pairs.
  • Single bonded oxygens: 3 electron lone pairs each.

The carbonate anion has -2 as a charge ({eq}CO^{-2}_3 {/eq}). In order to form a neutrally charged salt with the silver cation and the carbonate anion, two silver cations ({eq}Ag^+ {/eq}) must bond ionically with a single carbonate anion, as shown:

The formula of silver carbonate

The structure of silver carbonate

The ions are bonding together through an ionic bond, which is an electrostatic bond that is formed when cations transfer electrons to anions. From the earlier discussion, it has been revealed that two silver cations ({eq}Ag^+ {/eq}) bond with a single carbonate anion ({eq}CO^{-2}_3 {/eq}). Which makes {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} the silver carbonate formula. This molecular formula shows that silver carbonate is made of the following elements:

  • Two silver atoms.
  • One carbon atom.
  • Three oxygen atoms.

Properties of Silver Carbonate

{eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} molar mass can be easily computed by simply multiplying the atomic mass by the number of atoms of each element. The provided table displays the atomic mass of each element that makes silver carbonate:

Element Atomic Mass
Ag 107 g/mol
C 12 g/mol
O 16 g/mol

{eq}Molar \: Mass_{Ag_2CO_3} = no. \: Ag \: * \: Atomic \: Mass_Ag \: + \: no. \: C \: * \: Atomic \: Mass_C \: + \: no. \: O \: * \: Atomic \: Mass_O \: {/eq}

{eq}Molar \: Mass_{Ag_2CO_3} = 2 * 107 + 1 * 12 + 3 * 16 = 274 g/mol {/eq}

The molar mass of silver carbonate is equal to 274 g/mol. The following list displays the important properties of silver carbonate:

  • Molecular weight: 274 g/mol
  • Melting point: 218{eq}^{\circ} {/eq}C
  • Boiling point: No data available
  • Decomposition Temperature: 120{eq}^{\circ} {/eq}C
  • Density: 6.08 {eq}g/cm^3 {/eq}
  • Color: Yellow (appears grayish)
  • Physical state: Solid (powder)
  • Odor: Odorless

Silver Carbonate looks like pale yellowish powder

Silver Carbonate Solubility

The next topic is the silver carbonate solubility. Is {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} soluble in water? Is {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} soluble or insoluble in polar compounds? At first glance, the ionic nature of silver carbonate would make one think that it is highly soluble in water, but that is not the case. Silver carbonate does not dissociate from its respective ions when it is put in water. The reason behind this is linked to the extremely strong ionic bonds between the silver cations and the carbonate anion. Silver carbonate is reluctant about dissociating in water because of the strong ionic bonds between the cations and anion. Its solubility in water at room temperature is reported to be equal to 0.032 g/L. The solubility of silver carbonate can be manipulated by playing with other external parameters, like the temperature. The reason why silver carbonate doesn't ionize in water has been revealed to be linked to its strong ionic bonds. This piece of information can be utilized to come up with ways to break these strong bonds or make them weaker. Subjecting the silver carbonate and water solution to very high temperatures will help weaken and eventually break {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} ionic bonds. Which will ultimately lead to the increased solubility of silver carbonate in water.

As shown in the earlier section, silver carbonate decomposes, its bonds break, at temperatures as high as 120{eq}^{\circ} {/eq}C. Attempting to dissolve silver carbonate with boiling water (100{eq}^{\circ} {/eq}C) might give off the impression that {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} will ionize completely and that its solubility will skyrocket. But no. The solubility of {eq}Ag_2CO_3 {/eq} increases only a few increments at 100{eq}^{\circ} {/eq}C, 0.5 g/L. The effects of increasing the temperature did increase the solubility a bit, but it is nothing to be celebrated. Another factor that is linked to silver carbonate's poor solubility is the size of the silver atom. Silver molecules are very bulky as they precipitate instead of dissolve in water.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find silver carbonate?

Silver carbonate is a carbonate salt. And like most carbonate salt, it can be found in the earth's crust. It can also be found in pottery pieces. Silver carbonate is used to give pottery pieces beautiful colors.

What is the name for Ag2CO3?

The name of the compound with the chemical formula Ag2CO3 is silver carbonate. This compound is a carbonate salt that is made of two silver cations ionically bonding with a carbonate anion.

What is silver carbonate used for?

Silver carbonate is used as a catalyst and as a reagent in many chemical reactions. It is used as a reagent in Fetizon's reaction, where primary and secondary alcohols are oxidized to aldehydes and ketones. It is also used in the electronic industry. The silver is extracted then used in the manufacturing of many microprocessors and microelectronics.

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Resources created by teachers for teachers

Over 30,000 video lessons & teaching resources‐all in one place.
Video lessons
Quizzes & Worksheets
Classroom Integration
Lesson Plans

I would definitely recommend to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.

Jennifer B.
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account
silver carbonate formula