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What is cobalt (II) hydrogen carbonate?

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Quick Answer

Cobalt (II) hydrogen carbonate is an ionic compound described by the following chemical formula: Co(HCO3)2. Co2+ describes the cation of the compound; two HCO3- ions complete the compound by balancing its ionic charge.

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Full Answer

Scientists call atoms with electrical charges ions, and these ions describe the way they combine to form compounds as ionic bonding, according to the Virtual Chembook of Elmhurst College. The number of electrons and protons in an ion determine its charge and the means by which it can form an ionic bond with other atoms and molecules. HCO3- and Co2+ combine with one another to form cobalt (II) hydrogen carbonate at a 2:1 ratio because of their respective proton and electron balances.

Electricity conducts well through ionic compounds like cobalt (II) hydrogen carbonate because of the electrical charge already present in ionic bonds. These bonds form when one or more electrons are transferred from a metal to a nonmetal. Metals such as cobalt have a tendency to lose electrons through ionic bonding, while nonmetals such as hydrogen, carbon and oxygen tend to gain electrons through ionic bonding. In the case of cobalt (II) hydrogen carbonate, the cobalt atom balances its positive electrical charge by combining with two negative ions.

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