Sodium carbonate

Today’s Clover-query regarded “soda ash”, which we found out is called so because:

Historically, it was extracted from the ashes of plants growing in sodium-rich soils. Because the ashes of these sodium-rich plants were noticeably different from ashes of wood (once used to produce potash), sodium carbonate became known as “soda ash”.

Of course add a carbon, and you get sodium bicarbonate, or “baking soda”: Sodium bicarbonate - Wikipedia

Well, maybe it’s adding a carbon… because:

The prefix bi in bicarbonate comes from an outdated naming system predating molecular knowledge in reference to the two molar equivalents of carbon dioxide (known as carbonic acid in the ancient chemistry language) that potassium hydrocarbonate/bicarbonate releases upon decomposition to (di)potassium carbonate and to potassium oxide (potash).[15] The modern chemical formulas of these compounds now express their precise chemical compositions which were unknown when the name bi-carbonate of potash was coined (see also: bicarbonate).

So much to learn! :slight_smile: