How does the carbonates of alkali and alkaline earth metals differ?

Due to the difference in the size of cation involved, carbonates of alkali and alkaline earth metals differ in stability, lattice enthalpy and solubility.

  • Carbonates of alkali metals do not decompose.
  • Carbonates of alkaline earth metals decompose to form oxide when heated to high temperatures.
  • The carbonates of the alkaline earth metals also react with aqueous acid to give CO2 and H2O
  • The carbonates and sulfates of the heavier alkaline earth metals are quite insoluble because of the higher lattice energy due to the doubly charged cation and anion.

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