5 coolest experiments involving Coca-Cola
How to perform cool experiments with cola at home
Don’t drink the Coca-Cola used in any experiments! Observe safety precautions when working with heating devices.
Reagents and equipment
- Diet Coke;
- bleach (15% solution sodium hypochlorite);
- a rusty tool;
- frying pans;
- 4 cups.
Diet Coke and Mentos eruption
Coca-Cola and milk
Pour 50 mL Coca-Cola into 30 mL milk. Observe as the milk curdles and the solution pales.
Coca-Cola and rust
Let a rusty tool sit in 150 mL Coca-Cola for 5 hours. Remove it from the solution, wipe it off with a paper towel, and pay attention to the disappearance of the rust.
Cola and bleach
Add 20 mL bleach (15% solution sodium hypochlorite) to 50 mL Coca-Cola. Observe as the mixture pales.
How much sugar does Cola contain?
Pour 200 mL of classic Coca-Cola onto a frying pan. Heat until all the liquid evaporates. Repeat the experiment in a second frying pan using Diet Coke. Notice the large quantity of black tar from the classic Coca-Cola.
- Mentos have a rough surface, which aids the formation of a large amount of carbon dioxide gas from the Coca-Cola on its surface. Food additives in the Cola and Mentos contribute to the formation of a large quantity of foam.
- Milk consists mainly of proteins, fats, microelements, and water. When Coca-Cola is added, the phosphoric acid it contains forces the milk to curdle. Meanwhile, the forming clots of proteins drag coloring molecules with them, causing the mixture to pale.
- Rust consists mostly of iron(III) oxide, and develops on iron objects due to humid air or household chemicals. But it’s no problem for classic Coca-Cola! A rusty tool left in Coca-Cola will be thoroughly cleaned from the unattractive tarnish. This happens thanks to the phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola, which dissolves the iron(III) oxide.
2H₃PO₄ + Fe₂O₃ = 2FePO₄ + 3H₂O
- Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, which is a strong oxidizing agent and easily oxidizes the coloring molecules in the Coca-Cola, causing it to pale.
- The main ingredients of classic Cola are sugar and water. As the water evaporates, the mixture thickens and forms a black mass resembling tar, which mainly consists of caramelized sugar. Diet Coke contains sugar substitutes instead of regular sugar. These substitutes are much sweeter than sugar – even being added in tiny amounts, they make the drink every bit as sweet as the classic version. As a result, we see a much smaller amount of residue than in classic Cola.