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Carbonate system A. Sources and Sinks of co


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CARBON IN LAKES
I. The CO2 carbonate system

A. Sources and Sinks of CO2

1) Sources

a) atmosphere ~ 333 ppm

b) respiration

c) combustion

i. natural

ii industrial

d) solution

2) Sinks


a) photosynthesis

b) biomass

c) sedimentation / precipitation

B. Solubility in the CO2 system

1) CO2 g ~1%

2) Solution Pure water @ pH 7.0 - Henry’s law @ 20oC 38 mmol l-1 [1689 mgl-1]

C. Chemistry of CO2

1) Hydration of CO2 g

CO2 + H2O  H2CO3

H2CO3  HCO3- + H+

HCO3  CO3= + H+

2) relations with pH

High pH CO3= dominates

Mid range pH HCO3- dominates

Low pH H2CO3 {CO2} dominates
3) Effects of Calcium (and Magnesium)

Ca(HCO3)2  CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O

Buffering capacity

Alkalinity


II. Biological Factors influencing Carbon in lakes

A. Photosynthesis

1) Photosynthesis and pH

2) Carbon limitation

B. Respiration

1) Respiration and pH

2) BOD

C. Organic Carbon



1) Losses

2) Sinks

Carbon dioxide in water equilibrium



1. Introduction

Carbon dioxide does dissolve in water, however the system is somewhat complex[1].


First the CO2 dissolves according to:


  1. CO2 (g)  CO2 (l)

At room temperature, the solubility of carbon dioxide is about 90 cm3 of CO2 per 100 ml water (cl/cg = 0.8).


Any water-soluble gas becomes more soluble as the temperature decreases, due to the thermodynamics of the reaction: GAS (l)  GAS (g). The entropy change, S, of this reaction is positive because the gas molecules are less constrained than the gas molecules in solution. The change in Free energy of reaction with an increase in temperature is -S. This effect is particularly large for gases like CO2 that undergo specific reactions with water.
Equilibrium is established between the dissolved CO2 and H2CO3, carbonic acid.


  1. CO2 (l) + H2O (l)  H2CO3 (l)

This reaction is kinetically slow. At equilibrium, only a small fraction (ca. 0.2 - 1%) of the dissolved CO2 is actually converted to H2CO3. Most of the CO2 remains as solvated molecular CO2. As equation:



In fact, the pKa most reported for carbonic acid (pKa1 = 6.37) is not really the true pKa of carbonic acid. Rather, it is the pKa of the equilibrium mixture of CO2 (l) and carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is actually a much stronger acid than this, with a true pKa1 value of 3.58. However these values are also temperature dependent.


Carbonic acid is a weak acid that dissociates in two steps[2].


  1. H2CO3 + H2O  H3O+ + HCO3- pKa1 (25 °C) = 6.37



  1. HCO3- + H2O  H3O+ + CO32- pKa2 (25 °C) = 10.25

Note that these carbonate anions can interact with the cations present in the water to form insoluble carbonates. For instance, if Ca2+ is present limestone, CaCO3 is formed and if Mg2+ is present MgCO3 is formed. The formation of these deposits is an additional driving force that can pull the equilibrium more to the right resulting in acidification of the water[2].




  1. Ca2+ + CO32-  CaCO3 S = 4.96 x 10-9 (S = solubility constant)



  1. Mg2+ + CO32-  MgCO3 S = 6.82 x 10-6

The above presented more schematically:













+ H2O




+ H2O




+ H2O




+ Ca2+




CO2(g)



CO2 (l)



H2CO3



HCO3-



CO32-



CaCO3



















+ H3O+




+ H3O+








































Note that the reverse is also true and that the scheme represents the solubility of CaCO3 in an acidic solution resulting in the liberation of CO2 in the atmosphere.

2. Deriving [H2CO3]

If we assume CO2 is a simple gas we can apply Henry’s law that describes the equilibrium between vapor and liquid. Thus:


pCO2 = K . xCO2
where pCO2 is the partial pressure of the gas in the bulk atmosphere (Pa), K is a constant (Pa) and xCO2 is the equilibrium mole fraction of solute in liquid phase.
The solubility of CO2 is temperature dependent, as shown in Table 1: Solubility of CO2 at a partial pressure for CO2 of 1 bar abs [3] .

Table 1: Solubility of CO2 at a partial pressure for CO2 of 1 bar abs[3].



Temperature (oC)

0

10

20

30

40

50

80

100

Solubility
(cm3 CO2/g water)

1.8

1.3

0.88

0.65

0.52

0.43

0.29

0.26

Furthermore, as stated above, CO2 reacts with the water on dissolution and therefore one would expect that Henry’s law has to be modified.


However, according to Carrol and Mather [4] a form of Henry’s law can be used for modeling the solubility of carbon dioxide in water for pressures up to about 100 MPa, as can be seen in Figure 1: Henry's Constant for Carbon Dioxide in Water - from Carroll et al. [4] .

Figure 1: Henry's Constant for Carbon Dioxide in Water - from Carroll et al. [4]


They conclude that the Krichevsky-Kasarnovsky Equation, which can be derived from Henry’s Law, can be used to model the system CO2-H2O at temperatures below 100 oC.
Thus in the range of interest, 20-35 °C, the Henry coefficient for CO2 in water goes from 150 - 200 MPa/mole fraction
Applying the above to the conditions under investigation:

Temperature range: 20 – 35 °C


Pressure range: 80 – 90 bar

CO2 concentration in gas phase: 1.3-1.7 mol%


The partial pressure of CO2 in the gas phase is therefore in the range:

1.3/100 * 80 * 0.1 = 0.104 MPa

1.7/100 * 90 * 0.1 = 0.153 MPa
Applying Henry’s Law we calculate a CO2 mole fraction in water in the range:

xlow = 0.104 / 200 = 0.00052

xhigh = 0.153 / 150 = 0.00102

Converting mole fractions to concentrations:

At 20 °C the molar density of water = 998.21/18.02 = 55.39 mol/l

At 35 °C the molar density of water = 994.37/18.02 = 55.18 mol/l


Thus the CO2 concentration range in water under these conditions is:

clow = 0.00052 * 55.18 = 0.029 mol/l

chigh = 0.00102 * 55.39 = 0.056 mol/l

3. Calculating the pH[5]

The basic equations needed to calculate the pH are derived from equation (3) and (4).


Note: x = [H3O+] and y = [OH-]
The protolysis constants:

Assuming the initial concentration of carbonic acid = c then we derive the steuchiometric relation:
c = [H2CO3] + [HCO3-] + [CO32-]

The water constant: x.y = Kw and pKw =14


The electro neutrality equation:
2[CO32-] + [HCO3-] + y = x
We now have 5 equations and 5 unknowns.
From the equilibrium constants we derive


and



Substituting these into the steuchiometric relation we derive:

These equations can be used to calculate in which pH area which CO2 species dominates as can be seen in Figure 2: pH and CO2 species.

Figure 2: pH and CO2 species


Substituting these into the electro neutrality equation:

Combining the above with Kw=x.y we derive a 4th degree equation in x:

Compare:




with

If Ka1 >> Ka2 then Ka1.x >> Ka2.x and we can consider the equations equal and derive for the electro neutrality equation:

Estimating the difference between Ka and x can help simplifying the equation even further.
Furthermore: pH = -log x.
Applying the equations derived above to the CO2 concentrations calculated we calculate by applying that if Ka << x a valid approach if the pH is ca. 4 we can write:



Thus with the CO2 concentration range in water calculated above we calculate for the pH range:
clow = 0.029 mol/l  pH = 3.95

chigh = 0.056 mol/l  pH = 3.81



Verification has been done using the basic equation1 via a numeric solution in excel employing the goal seek function. The same pH values as derived above are found.


It is possible to refine the result even further. The dissociation constant is also depending on the temperature of the solution.

Table 2: Dissociation constant (K1A) of carbonic acid at various temperatures[2].

Temperature (oC)

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

K1A.107

2.64

3.04

3.44

3.81

4.16

4.45

4.71

4.90

5.04

5.13

5.19

However, as can be seen in Table 2: Dissociation constant (K1A) of carbonic acid at various temperatures [2] ., the pKa1 does not change enough to influence the pH significantly.




4. Effect of insoluble carbonates formation (deposits) on pH

Formation of (scale) deposits will influence the pH of solution is an indicator for a pH above 6-7. The solubility of CaCO3 as a function of the pH can be described by:




At lower pH’s the solubility of the carbonate increases significantly as can be seen in Figure 3: Solubility of CaCO3 as a function of pH.

Figure 3: Solubility of CaCO3 as a function of pH


Thus the absence of scaling in combination with relatively high Ca2+ and/or Mg2+ concentrations can be an indicator for a pH of the water below 6.

5. Conclusion

At the conditions under investigation, a pressure range of 80-90 bar, a temperature range of 20–35 °C and a CO2 gas phase concentration range of 1.3-1.7 mol% the pH of the water is ca. 4.




6. References

[1] Robert C. Reid, John M. Prausnitz, and Brice E. Poling, The Properties of Gases & Liquids, 4 ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1987.

[2] David R. Lide, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 71 ed. Boca Raton, Ann Arbor, Boston: CRC Press, 1990-1991.

[3] Physical and Engineering Data, January 1978 ed. The Hague: Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij BV, 1978.

[4] John J. Carroll and Alan E. Mather, "The System Carbon Dioxide-Water and the Krichevsky-Kasarnovsky Equation," Journal of Solution Chemistry, vol. 21, pp. 607-621, 1992.

[5] G. den Boef, Theoretische grondslagen van de analyse in waterige oplossingen, 4 ed. Amsterdam/Brussel: Elsevier, 1977.





1 By transforming the basic equation:







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