Pop Volcano Experiment
I beleive that once I drop mentos into a pop bottle there will be an explosion of pop up through the bottle. The bottle will be in the middle of a volcano I made, when I drop the mento's inside the pop bottle. the mento's will react with the pop and the fizz will go shooting out of the top of the pop bottle and the mouth of the volcano, making it look like it's exploding but really it's just science at work.
I want to test different types of pops to see which one gives me the best reaction - my goal is to get it six feet in the air.
I saw videos on You Tube and wanted to try this experiment to understand what is happening. I used wikipedia and the following videos to get information about what was happening.
The eruption of the pop is caused by a physical reaction - the mentos acts as a catalyst (fancy term for something that makes something happen faster) for the Carbon Dioxide gas to come out of the pop. The diet pop works best in this experiment because the aspartame (fake sugar) reduces the surface tension of the pop to give a bigger explosion.
591ml bottles of the following types of pop:
- Orange Crush
- Root Beer
- Diet Coke
- Diet Pepsi
2L Diet Coke bottles.
4 mentos were dropped into each bottle by a person.
The first step was to build the volcano:
- Shaped the wire into a cone which we then stapled and glued to the base of the volcano with a bottle set in the middle.
- Made the paper mache and let it cool down then I layered the paper mache on the volcano.
- I did one coat of the paper mache and another after the first one had dried.
- I then painted my volcano.
The second step was to purchase multiple types of pop: Orange Crush, Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and Root Beer.
- I tested the reaction using 4 mentos in each 591ml pop bottle. Each bottle received 4 mentos to see how big the reaction would be.
Diet Coke did give me the best reaction when I tested the 591ml bottles but I did not get the explosive reaction I was looking for. I then purchased 2 larger bottles of Diet Coke (2L) to test those reactions.
The third step was to use the Diet coke in my volcano and drop 4 mentos into the bottle (591ml). I then dropped 4 mentos into the 2L bottle of Diet Coke so I could see how big the reaction would be - I repeated this to see how good the reaction was with the 2L bottle.
I observed that if you have too small of a pop bottle you won't get a very good explosion.
I also observed that you need to keep the same time frame of dropping in the mento's for every bottle or you could miss some of the explosions from some of the reactions.
-The smaller pop bottle doesn't give me as good of an explosion because you need a larger volume of carbon dioxide that is trying to escape through a small opening to see the pop go really high!!
-Diet coke causes the best reaction for me - after doing research I discovered this was due to the aspartame in the diet drink that changes the property of the liquid.
I conclude that you should use Diet Coke if you want to get a big explosion and you should use a large 2L bottle with a small opening so the pressure will build up and the foam will go shooting high in the air.
I think people would be interested in the knowledge from my experiment because it's a fun way to learn about a reaction. Understanding what was happening and how the pressure builds up explains why pop fizzes when you open it. Now I know you can look for a catalyst to make the reaction even greater!!!
If people want to try the experiment themselves they need to know that if they want a big explosion they will need to use Diet Coke with a large bottle that has a small opening.
Sources Of Error
My main source of error was human - my father didn't drop the mento's in each bottle at the same time frame so we missed some of the explosions on a some of the pops.
Deanne Taylor (Mom) who helped with all the writing and helped me understand what was needed in each section.
Aaron Bell (Dad) for helping we build the volcano - how to create the shape and helping me perform all the experiments.