Explosive Chemistry

We have been experimenting with chemical reactions as part of Science week. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar is a wonderful “hands on – minds on” demonstration that children can enjoy and understand. Baking soda is a bicarbonate and vinegar is an acetic acid. When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together the initial reaction is two new chemicals – carbonic acid and sodium acetate. The carbonic acid formed as a result of the first reaction is unstable and immediately begins to decompose into water and carbon dioxide gas. The volume of gas produced is greater than the container can hold and so inflates the balloon. CH3COOH + NaHCO3 = CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O

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