5 coolest experiments involving Coca-Cola

How to perform cool experiments with cola at home

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Don’t drink the Coca-Cola used in any ex­per­i­ments! Ob­serve safe­ty pre­cau­tions when work­ing with heat­ing de­vices.

Reagents and equip­ment

  • Coca-Cola;
  • Diet Coke;
  • Men­tos;
  • bleach (15% so­lu­tion sodi­um hypochlo­rite);
  • a rusty tool;
  • milk;
  • fry­ing pans;
  • burn­er;
  • 4 cups.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Diet Coke and Men­tos erup­tion

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

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.

Process de­scrip­tion

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Bleach con­tains sodi­um hypochlo­rite, which is a strong ox­i­diz­ing agent and eas­i­ly ox­i­dizes the col­or­ing mol­e­cules in the Coca-Cola, caus­ing it to pale.
  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. As a re­sult, we see a much small­er amount of residue than in clas­sic Cola.