Vinegar + Baking Soda: From Lame-o to Volcano By: Felix L. Bodin

Materials:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking soda
  • (optional) 1/2 Tablespoon of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • A container with a small diameter (≈1 inch)

You don't have to use the exact amounts: all you need is a 2:1 ratio of Vinegar and Baking Soda. The Hydrogen Peroxide isn't necessary, it just makes the reaction bubblier. Lastly, the container should be thin because it is one of the 5 ways to speed up a chemical reaction: give the molecules less space to react/shrink the container.

Procedure:

This experiment is very easy to perform. Assuming that you already have the materials ready to be used, the first step is to put the baking soda in the container first, not the vinegar. This helps the molecules react faster which leads to more foam. The second step is to quickly pour the vinegar into the container: it won't be a reaction otherwise. The last step is probably everyone's least favorite: cleaning up.

Summary:

This chemical reaction is very common and easy to make, but I'll try my best to make it interesting. As the title says, I'm demonstrating the baking soda and vinegar reaction: Vinegar and Baking soda make sodium acetate, water and carbon dioxide (the same gas that we breathe out).

The Vinegar and Baking soda chemical formula

Because this reaction is so easy to make, I decided to enhance it a bit by adding some special effects and comparing performances between different ways of performing it. I don't want to reveal too much about it beforehand, but I will say that I added some food coloring to the Vinegar. When I said that I am performing it in different ways, I'm comparing how the reactants react differently in containers with different sizes. There's not much more to it, except for a detail that I'm saving for when I demonstrate the demonstration.

Relevant Chemistry Concept:

There are 5 ways to speed up a chemical reaction. According to TedEd, they are: 1) Shrink container or increase concentration, 2) Increase number of particles, 3) Speed up particles by adding heat, 4) Break up clumps into individual particles, and last but not least, 5) Use a catalyst. My demonstration demonstrates number 1) Shrink container because I will show that the reaction is more vigorous if you use a smaller/ thinner container.

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