Can you split carbonate ions into their constituent elements directly in the carbonate form? (so not first producing $\ce{CO2}$ and then decomposing the carbon dioxide)


I know that when running electricity through an aqueous solution containing carbonate ions and other element ions, the carbonate ions will act as individual groups and will not split (only after chemical reactions (for example the thermolysis of metal carbonates will produce carbon dioxide)) So this was just out of interest - how can the carbonate ion itself be split into its constituent elements if it can't be split with electricity (or at high voltage, could it then be split?)?

  • $\begingroup$ This seems to be a homework question. Can you please add what you have tried yet to solve your problem? $\endgroup$ – ashu Nov 18 '13 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if it's homework, but questions of the type “why is X stable?” are not very suitable for our site… more interesting are questions of the type “I would have thought X decomposes into Y and Z, with this equation, because of S and T. Why doesn't in happen in these conditions?” $\endgroup$ – F'x Nov 18 '13 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @F'x It isn't a homework question, it was just out of interest. I've edited my question, (done some more effort) $\endgroup$ – user2117 Nov 19 '13 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ I tend to agree with @F'x. The present question boils down to "once $CO_2$ is produced in the decomposition of carbonate, how can the carbon dioxide be further decomposed into its constituent elements." $\endgroup$ – bobthechemist Nov 20 '13 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ I understand what you mean - but can the CO32- ion immediately (without producing CO2) be split into its constituent elements? $\endgroup$ – user2117 Nov 21 '13 at 16:05

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