JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In this experiment, we will create an acid-based reaction resulting in carbon dioxide which causes a latex element to inflate. In other words, we will blow up a balloon using vinegar and baking soda.
GRAB YOUR INGREDIENTS: vinegar, baking soda, a water bottle, latex balloons, and a funnel. Most, if not all of these things can be found around the house.
STEP 1: Pour about a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the water bottle.
STEP 2: Place the lip of the balloon over the funnel and fill it 1/4 of the way full. This ensures that we get a good reaction.
STEP 3: Take the funnel out and carefully place the lips of the balloon onto the water bottle. Be sure to not get any baking soda in just yet.
STEP 4: Once you have the balloon on and secure, shake in the baking soda and watch it react.
Science behind this experiment: The baking soda, which is the base, and the vinegar, which is the acid, work together to create a gas. This gas is carbon dioxide, also known as CO2. Gases need a lot of room to spread out, so the carbon dioxide fills the bottle and when it has no where else to go but up, it moves into the balloon, inflating it.
INTERESTING NOTE: You might find it interesting that we as humans breathe in gases such as oxygen and nitrogen and exhale gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. If you have ever tried to blow up a balloon, you are also using CO2 to do it.
STEP 5: Keeping the air inside, take the balloon off the bottle and tie it.
STEP 6: Now, we will blow up a balloon, naturally exhaling carbon dioxide into it and see which falls faster when dropped from the same height. Try to get this balloon to be the same size as the other.
QUIZ TIME: Which balloon do you think will hit first? (Answer: The balloon blown up with baking soda and vinegar)
Although both balloons contain CO2, the ones blown up naturally have mostly nitrogen and oxygen and only a small percentage of carbon dioxide. The balloon blown up with baking soda and vinegar only contain carbon dioxide, which is heavier than the other gases mentioned, so it falls at a faster speed.