Popcorn the Gas Catcher
How to absorb gas using popcorn
The secret abilities of popcorn – revealed in our new video!
Hazardous substances were used in this experiment. Do not attempt! Under professional supervision only.
Reagents and equipment
- glass flask;
- nitrogen dioxide.
Make some popcorn. Transfer the popcorn to a flask of nitrogen dioxide. Over time, the popcorn will absorb the gas in the flask completely.
Popcorn is a corn kernel that explodes when heated. Its porous structure means that it has a large surface for adsorption – it can even be used as a gas adsorber. We used a flask of a colorful gas – nitrogen dioxide – to demonstrate this point. Once in the flask, the popcorn begins to sorb the gas in a process called adsorption – the sorption of a gas or liquid by a solid surface. Over time, the flask brightens, indicating that all the gas has been adsorbed. Popcorn can also adsorb other gases such as unpleasant odors in the fridge.