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Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in liquid. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which cause the solution to "fizz". This effect is seen in carbonated soft drinks.
Carbonation can also describe a chemical reaction, one example of which is a key step in photosynthesis.
Carbon dioxide is weakly soluble in water, therefore it separates into a gas. The process of carbon dioxide effervescing from a solution is represented by the following chemical reaction, in which aqueous carbonic acid converts to carbon dioxide and water:
Carbonation also describes the incorporation of carbon dioxide into chemical compounds. Our carbon-based life originates from a carbonation reaction that is most often catalysed by the enzyme RuBisCO. So important is this carbonation process that a significant fraction of leaf mass consists of this carbonating enzyme.
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