5 things you never knew about Coca-Cola

5 experiments with Coca-Cola to brighten a rainy weekend!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

  • Per­form these ex­per­i­ments only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.
  • Do not eat or drink any­thing used in the ex­per­i­ments!

Reagents and equip­ment

  • Coca-Cola (clas­sic and diet);
  • sand­pa­per;
  • glass;
  • drain clean­er;
  • bam­boo stick;
  • glass con­tain­er;
  • gal­li­um;
  • alu­minum can;
  • scalpel or sharp ob­ject (nail, knife);
  • glass;
  • hot wa­ter;
  • ham­mer;
  • mint dragees (Men­tos);
  • fry­ing pan;
  • heat­ing de­vice;
  • glass­es;
  • 50g gelatin;
  • saucepan;
  • sta­tionery knife;
  • ad­he­sive tape.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

  1. The se­cret of the alu­minum can: what is it hid­ing? Buff the top lay­er of paint off of an alu­minum can. Open the can and use a wood­en rod to sus­pend it in a suit­ably-sized beaker. Add some drain clean­er (usu­al­ly a 10% sodi­um or potas­si­um hy­drox­ide so­lu­tion). Ob­serve a tu­mul­tuous re­ac­tion and re­lease of gas. Wait two hours. Take the can out of the liq­uid. It would seem that the alu­minum has com­plete­ly dis­solved, but the drink hasn't leaked out!

  2. Gal­li­um vs Coca Cola can Melt gal­li­um in hot wa­ter and ap­ply to a closed alu­minum drink can. Rub the area with a scalpel or knife. Wait a few min­utes. The can bursts open!

  3. How to make gum­my cola Pour 50g gelatin into a pan and add 0.5L cola. Stir and leave to swell for 20 min­utes. Make a hor­i­zon­tal cut in the mid­dle of a plas­tic bot­tle and seal it back up with tape. Then heat the mix­ture of gelatin and cola over medi­um heat (if you have a ther­mome­ter, keep the tem­per­a­ture at or be­low 60°C / 140°F) un­til it be­comes a ho­mo­ge­neous liq­uid. Pour into the bot­tle, close the lid, and let sit in the fridge for 12 hours. When the time has passed, re­move the tape from the bot­tle. Care­ful­ly cut the bot­tle open with a sta­tionery knife and en­joy your jel­ly cola!

  4. Diet Coke and Men­tos erup­tion Toss a Men­tos into a bot­tle of Diet Coke. Ob­serve the re­lease of gas and for­ma­tion of a spout of foam.

  5. 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.

Pro­cess­ de­scrip­tion

  1. This or­di­nary alu­minum can is con­ceal­ing a de­vi­ous se­cret – it is cov­ered with a pro­tec­tive lay­er not only on the out­side, but on the in­side as well! When we re­move its paint coat­ing, we ex­pose the alu­minum, which eas­i­ly re­acts with a drain clean­er that con­tains an al­ka­line com­po­nent. But even when the alu­minum has dis­solved com­plete­ly, the drink will not leak out. There is a sec­ond ma­te­ri­al in­side the can – a lay­er of plas­tic that keeps the drink it­self from in­ter­act­ing with the alu­minum.

  2. Al­loys are ma­te­ri­als which are a com­bi­na­tion of met­als and are used for their unique prop­er­ties in var­i­ous fields of sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy. How­ev­er, these prop­er­ties aren’t al­ways ben­e­fi­cial. Take, for in­stance, an al­loy of gal­li­um and alu­minum. This al­loy is very frag­ile and can eas­i­ly be bro­ken with your hands or un­der oth­er pres­sure.

  3. Gelatin’s struc­tural fea­tures al­low it to ab­sorb and re­tain wa­ter. Wa­ter mol­e­cules are rel­a­tive­ly small and can seep into the in­ter­molec­u­lar spa­ces in the gelatin. Once in the gelatin, they re­main there due to the for­ma­tion of hy­dro­gen bonds.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.