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Monday, December 15, 2008

H2O + CO2 = H2CO3

What do you understand from this formula? Yes, I know its a simple chemistry reaction. Let me explain a little bit.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) + H2O (water) ⇌ H2CO3 (carbonic acid)

I have read an article (sorry the article is in Malay) about we can't exhale into the water as it will produce chemistry reaction like vinegar (acetic acid). Carbonic acid and Acetic acid are totally different. Even though I'd agree with the article that H2CO3 is acidic but H2CO3 won't harm us. Good example of H2CO3 is our soft drink.

Is there any doctor or chemistry professor who can help me in this? I know there must be an answer about this.


  1. Wah, what is that? :(
    I almost failed in my chemistry subject during spm

  2. ann - just a chemical reaction between h2o and co2 :)

  3. I sucked at science in high school!

  4. I was an Arts student...but when I saw that, I thought you were going to post on acid rain. Those carbonated drinks memang not good one! They say pour Coke onto meat and it gets cooked. Dunno true or nor, never tried!

  5. sbb tu la kena kacau minuman dpd tiup air tu kalo air tu panas ;)
    dats from my chemist fren la kan ;)

    1. but any water will be exposed to co2 in the air anyways..when wind blows, when mamak perform the tarik in teh tarik... even so, air soda have higer concentration of co2

    2. Wow, it's an old post but yet I still get the good comment.

      Thank you for the comment as I did not expect people still read blog nowadays.

      Yes, true about the water will be exposed to CO2 anyway. Actually when I saw this chemical reaction formula, I was thinking about there is someone told me before about Islam doesn't encourage you to blow the water that you want to drink if it's still hot. I was thinking it might be because of the CO2 from ourselves that will ruin the water itself.

      Just a thought came to me and I was 27 years old at that time. 9 years now :)

  6. hmm... i think u should find the answer in a chemistry forum.. hehe..

  7. I don't understand anything from that formula! Hahaha I hated chem so much I actually dropped the subject time form 4. Just couldn't masuk otak lah. Hehehe

  8. H2CO3 do harm us. soft drink is not good for our health. i just did an experiment, i poured coke into a bone, there's a reaction between them. the bone now is getting corrode.

    1. not only h2co3, but all other types of acids (also fpund in lemons,lime,basicallay sour stuffs) will cause the bone to become porous or disintegrate. this is because acid reacts with bone (calcium) and dissolves it.

    2. Lemon is also needed to clear up your veins I suppose? and good for detox. Are you saying that we should stop taking lemon? Since it has bad effect to bones?

  9. wow, chemistry stuff.. remind me of the high school :)

  10. Ha ha, don't be over cautious my friend. I know there's been a lot of stuff written in the book, magazine or internet. Kalau mahu dilayan semua, boleh jammed kepala. :) Life is short kan?

    Btw, u still x playing badminton sebelah malam?

  11. oppsie whoopsie... am afraid i'm not that useful in chemistry ;p i'm a biology student previously. but let me try to dig up my buku teks kimia masa zaman2 matrix dlu ;) haha!

    footnote: tak pernah lah tanya soklan2 yg senang dia ni ;p adoi!

  12. I read somewhere abt this topic.. Cara minum Rasulullah ialah minum dgn perlahan2, seteguk demi seteguk, jangan hembuskan nafas ke dalam air tersebut. Minum dgn senafas sahaja... lebih kurang macam tu lah, and memang i amalkan utk tidak hembuskan nafas dalam gelas atau cawan minuman semasa minum....

  13. i tot you were going to say how the polution in the air will affect the water from the rain. but then again, i think the vehicles are releasing... CO3? or just CO?

    i am lost.

    1. car released carbon monoxide CO

  14. The reaction between carbon dioxide and water to produce carbonic acid is a reversible reaction. This means that although carbon dioxide and water are changed into carbonic acid, carbonic acid can be simply converted back to water and carbon dioxide. This can be proven when you drink a glass of coke, the bubbles are the reaction of carbonic acid broken down to water and

    Blowing air into water doesn't cause this reaction. It is impossible to produce carbonic acid at room temperature. So, it is okay to blow air into water.

  15. tammy - oh don't worry because i wasn't any good either! :)

    suituapui - there is many other thing in coke that would make it sounds like a detergent instead of a good sweet drink. not only carbonic acid itself :)

    cik ijau - kacau air bila panas? erk... chemistry relation dia apa ek? mengeluarkan wap air hasil dari proses pemewapan (tak sure ejaan)? confuse.

    jard - its not exactly about h2co3 but more into seeking for solution of exhaling into water :)

    rosie - alamak. rugi wo. but even tho i took chem didn't mean i got good grade lol. i was a jerk.

    hayad - bone corrode? suppose it caused by phosphoric acid? no?

    faizal - haha that was what my colleague said. she even told me she prefer physic than chemistry :)

    ismail - haha not being over cautious. i don't know lately my mind is not at ease. maybe because of love life or maybe because of prison break! lol. just curious, because some peoples just simply swallow all the emails and article just like that which i prefer to figure out the real thing. i guess i am not alone?

    yes still playing badminton every thursday at night :)

    insomniac - come one girl! you can solve this... haha.

    tepak - i am not against that but there are email and article about h2co3 and it is just not right if we really look into it. maybe there is some other reason but to use exhaling into water and produce h2co3 is just not right :)

    it'd good if i can write to the original writer of that article. i just want to know how he got that chemical reaction :)

    zewt - hehe its like this:

    1 = mono
    2 = di
    3 = tri

    (thanks to dad and joo for reminding me about this)

    so its co not co3 :)

    tze lin - thanks for that "great" comment :)

    joo - thanks for some explanation in msn too ;)

  16. apa2 pun Nabi kita dah cakap tak elok tiup air dalam minuman. Dalam Islam semuanya ada sebab. dan kdg2 kita tak perlu persoalkan kenapa dan mengapa. kerana ilmu Allah itu sgt luas walau sedalam mana pun manusia kaji.

    semuanya ada hikmah yang tersimpan.

  17. that's mean, air dengan karbon dioksida? ohh macam air gas la eh? karbonated drinks.

  18. Tuhan saya nak saya mengaji semua mendalam-dalam. Sebab tu Dia bg saya otak untuk diguna dan bukan untuk ikut arahan saja. Kalau untuk ikut arahan saja, baik Dia mencipta robot, bukan manusia yang ada otak =.=

  19. Hi Faisal..

    How are you? Sorry been missing for a while.

    Anyways, as far as I could remember, any chemical reaction would require certain temperatures (usually extreme heat). Even for water to turn to vapour requires extreme heat so I wouldn't worry about blowing into water at room temperature just like Joo mentioned.

    It's highly unlikely for a person to break hydrogen bonds with the air from their mouth.

    I guess the reason why we shouldn't blow into our hot drinks is because it'll just hit us back in the face. LOL!

  20. hayad - jangan salah faham ye :) saya buat post ni untuk buktikan artikel tersebut mempunyai fakta yang tidak benar mengenai H2CO3 dan cuka. itu saja :)

    cahaya - salah satu contoh... ye :)

    joseph - no flame.

    shemah - hai shemah. i'm fine thanks. you?

    yes, i had further discussion with joo through msn too :)

    i guess you got the point right.

  21. me! me! I am a Chemical Engineer am I not? hehehe

    But, there are some confusion here (number 1).Otherwise, my explanations are:

    1. I read the malay article, but I didn't see any mention of vinegar or acetic acid.
    2. Yes, carbonic acid and acetic acid are different, but both are still considered as a mild acid - it depends on its molarity (concentration) but relatively still less acidic then strong acids such as sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid
    3. Whether it was harmless or not is depends on individual's body acceptance and the concentration of the acids.

    But believe me they are not that dangerous because if they did, we will be 'corrode' in a minute exposed in a closed room. There are water vapor in atmosphere right? And when we exhale carbon dioxide, wasn't the air is filled with carbonic acid?Hurm.. I am curious

  22. Actually, carbonic acid can cause acidosis in our body.

    Misalnya, katakan respiratory system fail, & then reduce in ventilation rate, also lead to reduce in gas exchange, lead to accumulation of CO2, lead to carbonic acid accumulation, can lead to systemic acidosis, lead to shock.

    Shock in short is fatal, need to be hospitalized.

    Carbonic Acid is one route for our body to eliminate CO2 from tissue usage. It has normal range, but increase in its volume in blood serum is very dangerous.

  23. bcd - thanks for the explanation :)

    1. "Dan alhamdulillah ketika tadi coba browse ke internet, ternyata dari salah satu milis kimia di Indonesia, ada yang menjelaskan secara teori bahwa: apabila kita hembus napas pada minuman, kita akan mengeluarkan CO2 yaitu carbon dioxide, yang apabila bercampur dengan air H20, akan menjadi H2CO3, yaitu sama dengan cuka, menyebabkan minuman itu menjadi acidic. dan saya ingat juga bahwa Rasulullah shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam menyuruh kita ketika minum seteguk demi seteguk, jangan langsung satu gelas sambil bernapas di dalam gelas, hal ini juga dilarang, ternyata saya baru tahu sekarang hikmahnya, bahwa ketika kita minum langsung banyak, maka ada kemungkinan kita akan bernapas di dalam gelas, yang akan menyebabkan reaksi kimia seperti di atas."

    remember that part?

    about your question, suppose you the one who giving me the answer haha! but even the air is polluted with h2co3 we only inhale oxygen right?

    syafiq - so, are you saying that this chemical reaction is true and its harmful? what about the fact that h2co3 won't be created in room temperature? please explain :)

  24. haa... dalam badan kita ada 1 enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, which catalyzes the reaction between CO2 & H20 & accelerates its reaction rates about 5000-fold.

    usually they present in our body in certain normal ratio, since its one route physiologically for our body to eliminate CO2, but abnormally increase, like I said before, will lead to acidosis & shock.



    for general knowledge...

    kalau nak lebih kena buka buku physiology @ pathophysiology la ye...

  26. I don't understand. Why on earth would we need to worry about that mild amount of CO2 blown into drinking water (almost negligible) and produce such a low amount of H2CO3 which is easily parted back into H2O and CO2 to affect our body? It's the least concern of all dangerous chemicals that exist around us. Make your priorities right, people.

  27. syafiq - that is what i need :) information. thanks for sharing.

    joseph - lets make thing clear here. i want to know if there is evidence regarding it. i don't ask for priority :)

  28. Anonymous3:22 AM

    FYI... Blowing into water WILL NOT creat a chemical reaction!!!

    At the most some of CO2 might get diluted into the water (yes gasses can be diluted into liquids: case and point fish get oxygen from water not by breaking up H2O, but by filtering the diluted O2 from the water).

  29. Anonymous - "Blowing into water WILL NOT create a chemical reaction!!!"

    any prove? :)

  30. h2o plus co2 equals carbonic acid only under pressure (i mean high pressure). anyway, you can't breathe underwater, because water pressure pushes on your rib cage(that's why scuba suits are pressurised.if i'm wrong, let me know. i'm barely at high school

  31. @zewt anything looking like CxHy (including gasoline, diesel, methane, C6H14 )+ O2 = co2 + h2o

  32. H2O + CO2 = H2CO3 if under high pressure. in other conditions, they don't react. the only link between H2CO3 and CH3-COOH (acetic acid) is that they are both acids...By the way, you can not breathe underwater, because water pressure pushes on your rib cage, and you can't inhale. this is why divers have pressurised suits. those effectively force air(not just oxygen) in your lungs. hope it helped :) contact me if you have other questions


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