Nickel(II) carbonate

Nickel(II) carbonate describes one or a mixture of inorganic compounds containing nickel and carbonate. From the industrial perspective, the most important nickel carbonate is basic nickel carbonate with the formula Ni4CO3(OH)6(H2O)4. Simpler carbonates, ones more likely encountered in the laboratory, are NiCO3 and its hexahydrate. All are paramagnetic green solids containing Ni2+ cations. The basic carbonate is an intermediate in the hydrometallurgical purification of nickel from its ores and is used in electroplating of nickel.[3]

Nickel(II) carbonate
Nickel(II) carbonate
IUPAC name
Nickel(II) carbonate
Other names
Nickelous carbonate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.020.063
EC Number
  • 222-068-2
RTECS number
  • QR6200000
UN number 3288
Molar mass 118.7
Appearance light green powder
Density 4.39 g/cm3
Melting point 205 °C (401 °F; 478 K)
0.0093 g/100ml
Safety data sheet ICSC 0927
GHS pictograms GHS07: HarmfulGHS08: Health hazard[2]
GHS signal word Danger
H302, H312, H332, H315, H317, H319, H334, H335, H350[2]
P201, P261, P280, P305+351+338, P308+313[2]
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g. chloroformReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
840 mg/kg
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Structure and reactions

NiCO3 adopts a structure like calcite, consisting of nickel in an octahedral coordination geometry.[4]

Nickel carbonates are hydrolyzed upon contact with aqueous acids to give solutions containing the ion [Ni(H2O)6]2+, liberating water and carbon dioxide in the process. Calcining (heating to drive off CO2 and water) of these carbonates gives nickel oxide:

NiCO3 → NiO + CO2

The nature of the resulting oxide depends on the nature of the precursor. The oxide obtained from the basic carbonate is often most useful for catalysis.

Basic nickel carbonate can be made by treating solutions of nickel sulfate with sodium carbonate, shown here for the basic carbonate:

4 Ni2+ + CO32− + 6 OH + 4 H2O → Ni4CO3(OH)6(H2O)4

The hydrated carbonate has been prepared by electrolytic oxidation of nickel in the presence of carbon dioxide:[5]

Ni + O + CO2 + 6 H2O → NiCO3(H2O)4


Nickel carbonates are used in some ceramic applications and as precursors to catalysts.

Natural occurrence

The natural nickel carbonate is known as gaspéite - a rare mineral. Basic Ni carbonates also have some natural representatives.[6]


It is moderately toxic and causes low irritation. Avoid prolonged contact.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Sigma-Aldrich Co., Nickel(II) carbonate hydroxide tetrahydrate. Retrieved on 2014-05-06.
  3. ^ Keith Lascelles, Lindsay G. Morgan, David Nicholls, Detmar Beyersmann, "Nickel Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_235.pub2
  4. ^ Pertlik, F. (1986). "Structures of hydrothermally synthesized cobalt(II) carbonate and nickel(II) carbonate". Acta Crystallographica Section C. 42: 4–5. doi:10.1107/S0108270186097524.
  5. ^ Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Ed. Edited by G. Brauer, Academic Press, 1963, NY. p. 1557.
  6. ^
H2CO3 He
BeCO3 B C (NH4)2CO3,
O F Ne
Al2(CO3)3 Si P S Cl Ar
Sc Ti V Cr MnCO3 FeCO3 CoCO3 NiCO3 CuCO3 ZnCO3 Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb2CO3 SrCO3 Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag2CO3 CdCO3 In Sn Sb Te I Xe
BaCO3   Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl2CO3 PbCO3 (BiO)2CO3 Po At Rn
Fr Ra   Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
La2(CO3)3 Ce2(CO3)3 Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
Ac Th Pa UO2CO3 Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr
Cobalt(II) carbonate

Cobalt(II) carbonate is the inorganic compound with the formula CoCO3. This reddish paramagnetic solid is an intermediate in the hydrometallurgical purification of cobalt from its ores. It is an inorganic pigment, and a precursor to catalysts. Cobalt(II) carbonate also occurs as the rare red/pink mineral spherocobaltite.

Copper(II) carbonate

Copper(II) carbonate or cupric carbonate is a chemical compound with formula CuCO3. At ambient temperatures, it is an ionic solid (a salt) consisting of copper(II) cations Cu2+ and carbonate anions CO2−3.

This compound is rarely encountered because it is difficult to prepare and readily reacts with water moisture from the air. The terms "copper carbonate", "copper(II) carbonate", and "cupric carbonate" almost always refer (even in chemistry texts) to a basic copper carbonate (or copper(II) carbonate hydroxide), such as Cu2(OH)2CO3 (which occurs naturally as the mineral malachite) or Cu3(OH)2(CO3)2 (azurite). For this reason, the qualifier neutral may be used instead of "basic" to refer specifically to CuCO3.

Glossary of chemical formulas

This is a list of common chemical compounds with chemical formulas and CAS numbers, indexed by formula. This complements alternative listing at inorganic compounds by element. There is no complete list of chemical compounds since by nature the list would be infinite.

Note: There are elements for which spellings may differ, such as aluminum/ aluminium, sulfur/ sulphur, and caesium/ cesium.

List of CAS numbers by chemical compound

This is a list of CAS numbers by chemical formulas and chemical compounds, indexed by formula. This complements alternative listings to be found at list of inorganic compounds, list of organic compounds and inorganic compounds by element.

List of inorganic compounds

Although most compounds are referred to by their IUPAC systematic names (following IUPAC nomenclature), "traditional" names have also been kept where they are in wide use or of significant historical interests.

Manganese(II) carbonate

Manganese carbonate is a compound with the chemical formula MnCO3. Manganese carbonate occurs naturally as the mineral rhodochrosite but it is typically produced industrially. It is a pale pink, water-insoluble solid. Approximately 20,000 metric tonnes were produced in 2005.

Nickel(II) acetate

Nickel(II) acetate is the name for the coordination compounds with the formula Ni(CH3CO2)2·x H2O where x can be 0, 2, and 4. The green tetrahydrate Ni(CH3CO2)2·4 H2O is most common. It is used for electroplating.

Nickel oxyacid salts

The Nickel oxyacid salts are a class of chemical compounds of nickel with an oxyacid. The compounds include a number of minerals and industrially important nickel compounds.

Nickel(II) sulfate can crystallise with six water molecules yielding Retgersite or with seven making Morenosite which is isomorphic to Epsom salts. These contain the hexaquanickel(II) ion.

There is also an anhydrous form, a dihydrate and a tetrahydrate, the last two crystallised from sulfuric acid. The hexahydrate has two forms, a blue tetragonal form, and a green monoclinic form, with a transition temperature around 53 °C. The heptahydrate crystallises from water below 31.5 above this blue hexhydrate forms, and above 53.3 the green form. Heating nickel sulfate dehydrates it, and then 700° it loses sulfur trioxide, sulfur dioxide and oxygen.

Nickel sulfite can be formed by bubbling sulfur dioxide through nickel carbonate suspended in water. A solution is formed that slowly loses sulfur dioxide, and which crystallises nickel sulfite hexahydrate. Crystals are frequently in the shape of stars, caused by the two opposite triangular enantiomorphs growing base to base. nickel sulfite hexahydrate is highly piezoelectric. Optically it is uniaxial negative with refractive indexes ω=1.552 ε=1.509. When heated it dehydrates and then ends up making nickel oxide and nickel sulfate.Nickel thiosulfate NiS2O3 has the same structure as the magnesium salt. It has alternating layers of octahedral shaped nickel2+ hexahydrate, and tetrahedral shaped S2O32− perpendicular to the β direction. When heated to 90 °C it decomposes to form NiS. NiS2O3 can be made from BaS2O3 and NiSO4. Nickel sulfamate can be used for nickel or mixed nickel-tungsten plating. It can be formed by the action of sulfamic acid on nickel carbonate.Nickel selenite NiSeO3 has many different hydrates, anhydrous NiSeO3 • ​1⁄3H2O, NiSeO3 • H2O, NiSeO3 • 2H2O (which is also a mineral called ahlfeldite), and NiSeO3 • 4H2O.Nickel nitrate commonly crystallises with six water molecules, but can also be anhydrous, or with two, four or nine waters.

triphenylphosphine oxide nickel nitrate [(C6H6)3PO]2Ni(NO3)2 is non ionic, with nitrato as a ligand. It can be made from nickel perchlorate. It is yellow and melts at 266 °C.Nickel carbonate NiCO3 • 6H2O, hellyerite, crystallising with six water molecules, precipitates when an alkali bicarbonate is added to a Ni aqueous solution. Basic nickel carbonate, zaratite, with the formula Ni4CO3(OH)6(H2O)4, is produced when alkali carbonates are added to a nickel solution. Nickel phosphate, Ni3(PO4)2 • 7H2O is also insoluble. A number of other phosphates have been made, including nanoporous substances resembling zeolites named with "Versailles Santa Barbara" or VSB. The nanoporous nickel phosphates can accommodate sufficiently small molecules and selectively catalyze reactions on them. A nickel arsenate, Ni3(AsO4)2·8H2O occurs as the mineral annabergite.Nickel perchlorate, Ni(ClO4)2 • 6H2O, nickel chlorate, Ni(ClO3)2 • 6H2O, nickel chromate (NiCrO4), nickel chromite (NiCr2O4), nickel(II) titanate, nickel bromate Ni(BrO3)2 • 6H2O, nickel iodate (Ni(IO3)2 • 4H2O), nickel stannate (NiSnO3 • 2H2O) are some other oxy-salts.

The uranates include NiU2O6, NiUO4 α and β forms (orthorhombic a=6.415 Å; b=6.435 Å; c=6.835 Å), and NiU3O10.

Solubility table

The table below provides information on the variation of solubility of different substances (mostly inorganic compounds) in water with temperature, at 1 atmosphere pressure. Units of solubility are given in grams per 100 millilitres of water (g/100 ml), unless shown otherwise. The substances are listed in alphabetical order.


Widgiemoolthalite is a rare hydrated nickel(II) carbonate mineral with the chemical formula (Ni,Mg)5(CO3)4(OH)2·5H2O. Usually bluish-green in color, it is a brittle mineral formed during the weathering of nickel sulfide. Present on gaspéite surfaces, widgiemoolthalite has a Mohs scale hardness of 3.5 and an unknown though likely disordered crystal structure. Widgiemoolthalite was first discovered in 1992 in Widgiemooltha, Western Australia, which is to date its only known source. It was named the following year by the three researchers who first reported its existence, Ernest H. Nickel, Bruce W. Robinson, and William G. Mumme.


Zaratite is a bright emerald green nickel carbonate mineral with formula Ni3CO3(OH)4·4H2O. Zaratite crystallizes in the isometric crystal system as massive to mammillary encrustations and vein fillings. It has a specific gravity of 2.6 and a Mohs hardness of 3 to 3.5. It has no cleavage and is brittle to conchoidal fracture. The luster is vitreous to greasy.

It is a rare secondary mineral formed by hydration or alteration of the primary nickel and iron bearing minerals, chromite, pentlandite, pyrrhotite, and millerite, during the serpentinization of ultramafic rocks. Hellyerite, NiCO3·6H2O, is a related mineral.

It was found originally in Galicia, Spain in 1851, and named after Spanish diplomat and dramatist Antonio Gil y Zárate (1793–1861).



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