Difference Between Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate

The most widely used chemical substances in today’s world are sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Both are produced all over the world and they have some common uses. Sodium carbonate is used often in industries and a lot less in households. However, sodium bicarbonate is one the most common house item which is used in cooking. It is also known as baking soda and is used extensively in baking as well as cleaning.

Coming to the chemistry side, sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate are basically different type of sodium compounds or salts. One common thing is that they both contain the principal element known as sodium. As far as the physical appearance goes, both are white in color, they are usually solids but often found in powdered form. Further, both are classified as a bases and these two also have ionic bonds. They occur naturally as compounds of sodium.

Difference Between Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate

However, even thoughsodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate sound similar in their names, these two substances are not the same and have many features and uses that are different. Let’s have a look at some of the key differences between sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.

Difference Between Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium Carbonate

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium carbonate is often referred to as soda ash or washing soda.

Sodium bicarbonate is popularly called as baking soda.

Sodium carbonate comes with the chemical formula \(Na_{2}Co_{3}\).

Sodium bicarbonate formula is given as \(NaHCo_{3}\).

Sodium carbonate is made up of sodium and acid.

Sodium bicarbonate comes with sodium, acid and hydrogen.

Sodium carbonate is diprotic and a strong base compound. When treated with acid it converts into sodium bicarbonate. It also functions as a good conductor of electricity.

Sodium bicarbonate is a weaker base and is usually monoprotic.

Sodium carbonate is commonly used in neutralizing acidic solutions in various fields.

Sodium bicarbonate is also used as a an odor neutralizer, cleaning or exfoliating agent, and sometimes as a temporary fire extinguisher.

Sodium carbonate is used for body processes or reactions.

Sodium bicarbonate is found in our body and is an important element. It helps to regulate and neutralize high acidity levels in the blood.

These are some of the differences between sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. To know more about different chemical substances and other chemistry topics you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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Practise This Question

Electra - "Hmm, this looks tricky" 

At 25C,
Cr3++eCr2+, given E0=0.424 VCr2++2eCr(s), given E0=0.9 VFind E0 at 25C for Cr3+(aq)+3eCr(s)

Electra was completely stumped. Seems like you need a way to add electrode potentials. Please tell her the answer.