You consume carbonic acid often, but do you know what is carbonic acid? If not then read further to know about this type of acid that makes science more interesting. Carbonic acid is formed when CO2 or carbon dioxide is mixed in water or H2O for bringing the chemical formula H2CO3.
It is a weak acid dissociates, it releases hydrogen ion from it and the molecule that forms is called as bicarbonate ion. It is formed frequently in the natural world and can be commonly found in sodas, blood and champagne. In fact, this acid also appears in rain. When soda is prepared, carbon dioxide has to be dissolved in water. If this acid is mixed with phosphoric acid or other acids then it brings a tart taste to different types of sodas. Other than this, the acid also brings slight burning sensation to a person if he/she drinks a fizzy drink. This is the reason why they use carbonic acid to make a drink taste fizzy.
However, the consumption of carbonic acid becomes important to maintain the pH level of the body. The normal pH level of bodily fluids remains at around 7.4 and it should be kept close to this value for proper body functionality. If pH changes for say up or down then the enzymes can stop functioning, nerves and muscles can turn weak, and metabolic activities can get harmed. Carbonic acid releases bicarbonate ion that acts as shock absorber and helps the body to maintain its pH level. Therefore, this ion has capacity to act as acid or a base as per the requirements.
Acid is any substance that produces hydrogen ions into the solutions. If the hydrogen ions increase in the body then the fluids turn more acidic. In order to maintain this, the bicarbonate ions absorb the extra hydrogen ions produced in the body and maintain the normal pH level. On the other hand, if hydrogen ions drop down from normal then the fluids turn very alkaline where carbonic acid provides hydrogen ions to maintain the pH level of the blood. This same process can be found in the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
When it comes to rain, the carbonic acid comes normally with it. The process occurs when rainwater falls through air. The acid absorbs carbon dioxide and then turns into carbonic acid. After this process when it falls on ground it brings around 5.5 pH level. However, carbonic acid should not be confused with acid rain. Acid rain occurs due to emissions like nitrogen and sulfur oxides spread in air and are produced by the burning of fossil fuels. When rain occurs, the acid absorbs these produced components, bringing the pH level in rain fall to as less as two.