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Can HCO3 have a 3- charge?

  1. Sep 26, 2011 #1
    Hello, I've searched around the internet, but I haven't been able to find an answer to my question. I know that bicarbonate has a -1 charge, but I was wondering if HCO3 could have a structure that has a -3 charge, by having carbon be a central atom with a single bond to each of the four other atoms.

    If this is possible, I would like to know its common name, but if this is not possible, I would appreciate an explanation as to why that is.

    Reason for asking: generally curiosity.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can draw any molecule you want - paper will survive. But reality bites, and most of the atom combinations are not stable.
  4. Sep 28, 2011 #3
    No. It's unstable for thermodynamical reasons. If you tried making HC(OH)3, which would be the acid form of the anion you're describing, it would decompose into HCOOH which is formic acid.
  5. Sep 29, 2011 #4

    This is the answer I was looking for, thanks!

    We have yet to talk about acids and basis in my beginning chemistry course(I believe we get to near the end of the semester), and we have only briefly touched on it in Chem lab, so that explains why that explanation wouldn't be obvious to me.

    The reason I was wondering about this anion in particular, is because I was studying polyatomic ions for an exam, and I noticed that this permutation of HCO3 was equally valid in terms of electronegativity and the atoms' physical ability to bond with each other. This is actually pretty cool, because it shows how much more about chemistry I have yet to learn! :)
  6. Sep 30, 2011 #5
    Correction, HC(OH)3 would decompose into formic acid and water: HCOOH + H20.
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