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Volcano Recipes

Instructions for Making Chemical Volcanoes


There are several ways to model volcanic eruptions using simple chemical reactions. Here's a collection of some of the best chemical volcano recipes that you can use for a volcano demonstration or make just for fun.

1. Classic Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcano

Adding baking soda causes the volcano to erupt.
Anne Helmenstine
Chances are, if you have made a model volcano this was how you did it. The baking soda and vinegar reaction is nice because it's non-toxic and you can recharge your volcano to make it erupt again and again and again. A video version of the baking soda and vinegar volcano tutorial is also available.

2. Yeast & Peroxide Volcano

Mixing yeast and peroxide causes a foamy 'eruption'.
Anne Helmenstine
The yeast and peroxide volcano is another safe choice for kids that uses common household ingredients. This volcano is a little foamier than the baking soda and vinegar variety. You can recharge this volcano, too.

3. Mentos & Soda Eruption

The mentos & diet cola fountain is easy and fun.
Anne Helmenstine
This fountain or volcanic eruption can be done with other candies and any type of carbonated beverage. If you use a diet soda or an unsweetened drink the resulting spray will be a lot less sticky.

4. Glowing Eruption

Glow=in-the-dark fountain!
Anne Helmenstine
This volcano glows blue under a black light. That doesn't make it any more like a volcano than the other projects, except that lava is hot and glows. Glowing eruptions are cool.

5. Fountain Firework

You can make a fountain firework using the homemade smoke bomb recipe.
Anne Helmenstine
This particular volcano erupts with smoke and fire, not lava. If you add iron or aluminum filings to the mixture, you can shoot a shower of sparks.

6. Ketchup & Baking Soda Volcano

Ketchup contains vinegar, which reacts with baking soda to producelava for a chemical volcano.
Anne Helmenstine
The acetic acid in ketchup reacts with baking soda to produce an extra-special type of lava for a chemical volcano. This is a non-toxic volcano recipe that is sure to please!

7. Lemon Fizz Volcano

Baking soda and lemon juice react to produce carbon dioxide gas, which can be used to form bubbles.
Anne Helmenstine
I colored this eruption blue, but you could just as easily make it red or orange. When you stop to think about it, you can react any acidic liquid with baking soda to create lava.

8. Vesuvian Fire

'Vesuvian Fire' is one name given to the classic tabletop chemical volcano made using ammonium dichromate. This is a spectacular demonstration, but chromium is toxic so this reaction is only carried out in the chemistry lab.

9. Sulfuric Acid & Sugar Ash Column

If you add a bit of sulfuric acid to sugar you'll create a glowing column of hot black ash.

10. Color Change Chemical Volcano

This chemical volcano involves a color change of the 'lava' from purple to orange and back to purple. The volcano can be used to illustrate an acid-base reaction and the use of an acid-base indicator.
Related Video
Baking Soda and Vinegar Erupting Volcano
How to Make Slime

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