Silver carbonate

Silver carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Ag2CO3. This salt is yellow but typical samples are grayish due to the presence of elemental silver. It is poorly soluble in water, like most transition metal carbonates.

Silver carbonate
Crystal structure of silver carbonate
Sample of microcrystaline silver carbonate
IUPAC name
Silver(I) carbonate
Other names
Argentous carbonate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.007.811 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 208-590-3
MeSH silver+carbonate
  • InChI=1S/CH2O3.2Ag/c2-1(3)4;;/h(H2,2,3,4);;/q;2*+1/p-2 checkY
  • InChI=1/CH2O3.2Ag/c2-1(3)4;;/h(H2,2,3,4);;/q;2*+1/p-2
  • [Ag]OC(=O)O[Ag]
Molar mass 275.75 g/mol
Appearance Pale yellow crystals
Odor Odorless
Density 6.077 g/cm3[1]
Melting point 218 °C (424 °F; 491 K)
decomposes from 120 °C[1][4]
0.031 g/L (15 °C)
0.032 g/L (25 °C)
0.5 g/L (100 °C)[2]
Solubility Insoluble in alcohol, liquid ammonia, acetates, acetone[3]
−80.9·10−6 cm3/mol[1]
Monoclinic, mP12 (295 K)
Trigonal, hP36 (β-form, 453 K)
Hexagonal, hP18 (α-form, 476 K)[5]
P21/m, No. 11 (295 K)
P31c, No. 159 (β-form, 453 K)
P62m, No. 189 (α-form, 476 K)[5]
2/m (295 K)
3m (β-form, 453 K)
6m2 (α-form, 476 K)[5]
a = 4.8521(2) Å, b = 9.5489(4) Å, c = 3.2536(1) Å (295 K)[5]
α = 90°, β = 91.9713(3)°, γ = 90°
112.3 J/mol·K[1]
167.4 J/mol·K[1]
−505.8 kJ/mol[1]
−436.8 kJ/mol[1][4]
GHS pictograms GHS07: Harmful[6]
GHS Signal word Warning
H315, H319, H335[6]
P261, P305+351+338[6]
Inhalation hazard Irritant
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
3.73 g/kg (mice, oral)[7]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Preparation and reactionsEdit

Silver carbonate can be prepared by combining aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate with a deficiency of silver nitrate.[8]

2 AgNO3(aq) + Na2CO3(aq) → Ag2CO3(s) + 2 NaNO3(aq)

Freshly prepared silver carbonate is colourless, but the solid quickly turns yellow.[9]

Silver carbonate reacts with ammonia to give the diamminesilver(I) ([Ag(NH3)2]+) complex ion. Like other diamminesilver(I) solutions, including Tollen's reagent, there is a possibility that explosive Silver nitride may precipitate out of the solution. Silver nitride was previously known as fulminating silver but due to confusions with silver fulminate it has been discontinued by the IUPAC.[10]

With hydrofluoric acid, it gives silver fluoride.

The thermal conversion of silver carbonate to silver metal proceeds via formation of silver oxide:[11]

Ag2CO3 → Ag2O + CO2
2 Ag2O → 4 Ag + O2


The principal use of silver carbonate is for the production of silver powder for use in microelectronics. It is reduced with formaldehyde, producing silver free of alkali metals:[9]

2 Ag2CO3 + CH2O → 2 Ag + 3 CO2 + H2O

Silver carbonate is used as a reagent in organic synthesis such as the Koenigs-Knorr reaction. In the Fétizon oxidation, silver carbonate on celite serves as an oxidising agent to form lactones from diols. It is also employed to convert alkyl bromides into alcohols.[8] As a base, it has been used in the Wittig reaction.[12] and in C-H bond activation.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lide, David R., ed. (2009). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-9084-0.
  2. ^ Seidell, Atherton; Linke, William F. (1919). Solubilities of Inorganic and Organic Compounds (2nd ed.). New York City: D. Van Nostrand Company. p. 605.
  3. ^ Comey, Arthur Messinger; Hahn, Dorothy A. (February 1921). A Dictionary of Chemical Solubilities: Inorganic (2nd ed.). New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 203.
  4. ^ a b Anatolievich, Kiper Ruslan. "silver nitrate". Retrieved 2014-07-21. External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b c d Norby, P.; Dinnebier, R.; Fitch, A.N. (2002). "Decomposition of Silver Carbonate; the Crystal Structure of Two High-Temperature Modifications of Ag2CO3". Inorganic Chemistry. 41 (14). doi:10.1021/ic0111177.
  6. ^ a b c Sigma-Aldrich Co., Silver carbonate. Retrieved on 2014-05-06.
  7. ^ a b "Silver Carbonate MSDS". Salt Lake City, Utah: Salt Lake Metals. Retrieved 2014-06-08. External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b McCloskey C. M.; Coleman, G. H. (1955). "β-d-Glucose-2,3,4,6-Tetraacetate". Organic Syntheses.; Collective Volume, 3, p. 434
  9. ^ a b Andreas Brumby et al. "Silver, Silver Compounds, and Silver Alloys" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2008. doi:10.1002/14356007.a24_107.pub2
  10. ^ Brumby, Andreas; Braumann, Peter; Zimmermann, Klaus; Brodeck, Francis; Vandevelde, Thierry; Goia, Dan; Renner, Hermann; Schlamp, Gunter; Zimmermann, Klaus; Weise, Wolfgang; Tews, Peter; Dermann, Klaus; Knodler, Alfons; Schroder, Karl-Heinz; Kempf, Bernd; Luschow, Hans; Peter, Cartrin; Schiele, Rainer (2008). Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. p. 49. ISBN 9783527306732. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  11. ^ Koga, Nobuyoshi; Shuto Yamada; Tomoyasu Kimura (2013). "Thermal Decomposition of Silver Carbonate: Phenomenology and Physicogeometrical Kinetics". The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 117: 326–336. doi:10.1021/jp309655s.
  12. ^ Jedinak, Lukas et al. “Use of Silver Carbonate in the Wittig Reaction.” The Journal of Organic Chemistry 78.23 (2013): 12224–12228.
  13. ^ J. Org. Chem., 2018, 83 (16), pp 9312–9321 DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b01284. .

External linksEdit