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Construction materials

Reactions of calcium carbonate

Limestone and marble are mostly calcium carbonate. This breaks down when heated strongly. The reaction is called thermal decomposition. Here are the equations for the thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate:

calcium carbonate right facing arrow with heat calcium oxide + carbon dioxide

CaCO3right facing arrow with heat CaO + CO2

Other metal carbonates decompose in the same way. For example, here are the equations for the thermal decomposition of copper(II) carbonate:

copper(II) carbonate right facing arrow with heat copper(II) oxide + carbon dioxide

CuCO3right facing arrow with heat CuO + CO2

Copper(II) carbonate is often used at school to show thermal decomposition. It is easily decomposed and its colour change, from green copper(II) carbonate to black copper(II) oxide, is easy to see.

Copper carbonate + heat -> Copper oxide + Carbon dioxide

The thermal decomposition of copper(II) carbonate is easily demonstrated

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