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
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 is exploited by many fire extinguishers due to the inert nature of the carbon dioxide.
- ^ Anthony John Downs, (1993), Chemistry of Aluminium, Gallium, Indium, and Thallium, Springer, ISBN 978-0-7514-0103-5