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Answer to Question #22651 in Inorganic Chemistry for zoey

Question #22651
how does ethanoic acid, citric acid and sulphamic acid remove limescale from a coffee machine need a scientific explantion please
Expert's answer
Ethanoic acid,citric acid and sulphamic acid is used to remove scale, because the scale is mainly composed of calcium and magnesium. This acid is not harmful to humans, and do not damage the appliance itself.

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Comments

Assignment Expert
18.06.13, 14:53

You're most welcome!

Lucy
17.06.13, 18:10

I'd just like to thank you for posting this, your comment to Toni's post was really good and helped me with my Chem coursework, which I was really struggling with, thanks:)

Assignment Expert
03.06.13, 15:54

Limescale is mainly composed of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. All acids react with carbonate compounds to liberate CO2 gas.
Ethanoic (acetic), citric and sulfamic acids are weak acids, however, they are capable of supplying H+ ions. The H+ ions react with CaCO3 in the following way:
CaCO3(s) + 2H+ --> Ca2+ + CO2(g) + H2O

The limescale is dissolved. The anion of the acid is also in solution with the calcium ions. This solution can be easily washed away, and the limescale is gone. Weak acids like the acetic acid are in vinegar.

Toni
02.06.13, 17:51

This doesn't exactly answer HOW the acids remove the limescale :/

Assignment Expert
22.05.13, 15:56

You're welcome! It's inspiring to get such kind of feedback.
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Blake
21.05.13, 20:21

Thanks for posting this, very helpful

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