Aluminium carbonate (Al2(CO3)3), is a carbonate of aluminium. It is not well characterised, one authority says that simple carbonates of aluminium gallium and indium are not known.
It is formed in the reaction between an aluminium compound, such as aluminium sulfate (Al2(SO4)3), and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3)
- Al2(SO4)3 + 3 Na2CO3 → Al2(CO3)3 + 3 Na2SO4
Some sources claim that Aluminium carbonate does not exist because it is so unstable.
Aluminium carbonate is an unstable compound, decomposing to aluminium hydroxide (Al(OH)3) and carbon dioxide (CO2):
- Al2(CO3)3 + 3 H2O → 2 Al(OH)3 + 3 CO2
Aluminium carbonate readily decomposes into carbon dioxide and aluminium hydroxide, which was exploited in a type of fire extinguisher invented by Aleksandr Loran in 1904.