Is HCl a Strong Acid, or Is H2CO3?

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.

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