Q:

Is HCl a strong acid, or is H2CO3?

A:

Quick Answer

Hydrochloric acid — also known as muriatic acid — is a strong acid, while carbonic acid is a weak acid. The chemical formula for hydrochloric acid is HCl. The formula for carbonic acid is H2CO3.

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Full Answer

Acids are substances that release hydrogen ions when added to water. Strong acids completely dissociate in water, releasing all of their hydrogen ions; weak acids release only a portion.

Some uses for hydrochloric acid include:

  • Cleaning the surface of metal before it is processed further
  • Acidifying the stomach
  • Acting as a reagent in various manufacturing processes

Some uses of carbonic acid include:

  • Generating CO2 in the production of soft drinks and other carbonated drinks
  • Participating in the transport of CO2 from the blood to the lungs
  • Acting as a sink in the oceans for excess CO2 in the atmosphere

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