Q:

Which acids dissolve limestone?

A:

Quick Answer

Carbonic acid, hydrochloric acid and acetic acid are some acids that react with limestone, causing it to dissolve. Each of these acids reacts with limestone in different ways. Limestone is made up mainly of calcite that is the chemical compound calcium carbonate.

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Full Answer

Carbonic acid, which is a weak acid, forms when rainwater and carbon dioxide in the air react with one another. When carbonic acid comes into contact with limestone or calcium carbonate, it can cause it to dissolve over a long period of time. In nature, this reaction leads to the formation of caves. Vinegar, which contains about 5 percent acetic acid, is often used as an acid test for limestone. When limestone and acetic acid react, there is a fizzing reaction.

The reaction between limestone and a strong acid like hydrochloric acid results in the formation of the products carbon dioxide, water, calcium ions and chloride ions. This reaction causes carbon dioxide bubbles.

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