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Carbonate hardness is the measure of Calcium and Magnesium and other hard ions associated with carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions contained in a solution, usually water. It is usually expressed either as parts per million (ppm or mg/L), or in degrees (KH - from the German "Karbonathärte"). One German degree of carbonate hardness is equivalent to about 17.8575 mg/L. Both measurements (mg/L or KH) are usually expressed "as CaCO3" – meaning the amount of hardness expressed as if calcium carbonate was the sole source of hardness. Every bicarbonate ion only counts for half as much carbonate hardness as a carbonate ion does. If a solution contained 1 liter of water and 50 mg NaHCO3 (baking soda), it would have a carbonate hardness of about 18 mg/L as CaCO3. If you had a liter of water containing 50 mg of Na2CO3, it would have a carbonate hardness of about 29 mg/L as CaCO3.
Additional recommended knowledge
Carbonate hardness supplements non-carbonate (a.k.a "permanent") hardness where hard ions are associated with anions such as Chloride that do not precipitate out of solution when heated.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carbonate_hardness". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|