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.