MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why is hydrogen carbonate(or hydrogen sulfate) called 'Bi' carbonate, 'Bi

Date: Sun Oct 12 15:22:50 2003
Posted By: Dave Clark, Staff, Chemical and Environmental Technologies, Battelle
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1065734127.Ch

"Bi" is derived from the Latin "bis", meaning "twice".  The bi in 
bicarbonate, refers to the fact that it takes twice as many equivalents 
(or moles) of bicarbonate ions to neutralize an acid compared to carbonate 
ions.  The same reasoning applies to bisulfate, bisulfite, etc.  These 
anions were also referred to with "acid" nomenclature.  For example, 
sodium acid sulfate.

The preferred nomenclature now is "hydrogen", as in sodium hydrogen 

Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, Simon & Schuster, 1979

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