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Erupting Diet Coke® with Mentos®

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2 buddy reviews
by Teisha Rowland, PhD
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
carbonation, physical reactions, gases
Eruption resulting from combining diet coke with Mentos

Introduction

Have you ever seen the Diet Coke® and Mentos® experiment, which is all over the Internet, and wondered what makes the reaction work? You might think that there is some ingredient in a Mentos candy causing a chemical reaction with the soda, like the way baking soda reacts with vinegar. But the amazing eruption that takes place when Mentos are dropped into Diet Coke is not a chemical reaction at all! Instead it is a physical reaction. That means that all of the pieces of the reaction are there, but that they are simply re-arranged. And changing some factors may cause a larger or smaller physical reaction to take place — see for yourself!

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Wax paper
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Eye protection, such as safety goggles or glasses
  • Index cards (2)
  • Tape
  • One roll of Mentos (at least 8 candies)
  • Two-liter bottles of Diet Coke (2)
  • An outdoor area at least two meters from buildings
  • Optional: Video camera and a tripod or helper
    Materials needed to erupt diet coke using mentos.
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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
carbonation, physical reactions, gases