Mixing vinegar with baking soda is a time honored chemical
tradition, powering science fair volcanoes across the nation.
However, what is good can always be made great and in this experiment,
Scientific AmeriKen explores how other household items mixed
into this reaction change the experience. The outcomes of this
experiment will greatly expand the repitoir of baking soda explosions
across the globe.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) neutralizes acids (like vinegar)
and in the process will release carbon dioxide gas. It is the
hypothesis of this experiment that compounds that may neutralize
acids will reduce the baking soda magic - only milk fits this
description. For all other items, since there may be a dilution
effect, it is the hypothesis of this experiment that other compounds
will also reduce the baking soda magic.
Approximately 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda was placed into each
test tube and an equal volume of experimental agent. Aproximately
5 mL of apple cider vinegar was then added. All reactions were
observed using a camera and time was calculated using a stop
watch while watching the videos.
Table 1. Time to max bubblage
Additional notes: Image shows each reaction at is maximum level
of bubblage. Additionally, some items were given extra mixing
like cinnamon and dish soap.
A total of 10 household items were tested for its effects on
baking soda. Surprisingly many items had significant effects
on the output of bubbles from the baking soda reaction. Only
1 item seemed to enhance the experimental effect - salt. Future
experiments could explore this effect further my increasing
or decreasing the amount of salt. Most reduced the bubblage
with including most of the powders - although these did induce
some color changes that might be useful for volcanos. Surprisingly,
milk did not affect the height of the bubblage and strangely
made it so the bubbles lasted longer. Other noticable differences
occured with dish soap which caused a very long delay of the
reaction, but longer survival of the bubbles. Finally, olive
oil seemed to completely stop the reaction and cinnamon greatlys
lowed the reaction, and also seemed to prevent the formation
of bubbles. All in all, these data demonstrate the baking soda
- vinegar reaction is very adaptable and open to a wide range
of future experiments!