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Carbonates are chemical compounds containing the CO3²⁻ anion, which is made up of carbon and three oxygen atoms. Carbonates are one of the basic anionic radicals and have various chemical properties and uses.

Carbonates can react with acids to form salts and carbon dioxide (CO2) as a byproduct. Carbonates occur in a large number of minerals such as limestone (calcite), dolomite or aragonite. These minerals make up a significant part of the earth's surface and are important for geological and geochemical processes.

In nature, carbonates also occur in the oceans, where they play an important role in maintaining the acidity of the water and regulating the carbonate and carbon balance system, which affects the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans and atmosphere.

In medicine, carbonates are used to regulate the acid-base balance in the body, playing a key role in maintaining the optimal blood pH level.

Overall, carbonates are important chemical compounds that occur in various areas of natural and life processes.

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