Carbonation can refer to two chemical processes involving carbon dioxide:
- The dissolution in a liquid, also known as fizz or effervescence.
- The incorporation into chemical compounds.
The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which causes the solution to become effervescent, or fizzy. A common example is the dissolving of carbon dioxide in water, resulting in carbonated water.
Carbon dioxide is weakly soluble in water, therefore it separates into a gas when the pressure is released.
Carbonation also describes the incorporation of carbon dioxide into chemical compounds. This occurs in the following cases:In biochemistry
Our carbon-based life originates from a carbonation reaction that is most often catalysed by the enzyme RuBisCO. So important is this carbonation process that a significant fraction of leaf mass consists of this carbonating enzyme.
In reinforced concrete construction
Also known as neutralisation
, it is a chemical reaction between carbon dioxide in the air and calcium hydroxide and hydrated calcium silicate in the concrete.