Erupting Volcano - How to Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Erupting Volcano Video
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Video:Baking Soda and Vinegar Erupting Volcano

with Anne Marie Helmenstine

The baking soda and vinegar volcano is the classic chemical volcano that you see at science fairs. Watch how easy it is to make a chemical volcano that produces a memorable eruption.See Transcript

Transcript:Baking Soda and Vinegar Erupting Volcano

Hi, I'm Dr. Anne Helmenstine for and this is my assistant Sam. We're going to show you how to make a baking soda and vinegar chemical volcano.

This volcano is the classic model volcano for science projects. You form the cone of the volcano around a bottle and then mix non-toxic kitchen chemicals to cause the volcano to erupt.

Form the Chemical Volcano

The cinder cone of the volcano is formed using clay or dough. You'll need a lot less 'volcano' material if you make a general volcano shape out of paper and then just cover it with clay.

Erupting Volcano Ingredients

You will need warm water, baking soda, liquid dishwashing detergent, and vinegar to make the lava for your volcano. You can color the lava by adding food coloring or powdered drink mix.

Make the Chemical Volcano Erupt

To cause an eruption, fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water. Warm water produces a better eruption than cold water because the higher temperature increases the rate of the chemical reaction that makes the lava. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid, some food coloring to color your lava, and a few spoonfuls of baking soda. When you're ready to start the eruption, pour vinegar into the volcano.

How the Chemical Volcano Works

The baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. The vinegar is weak acetic acid. The two chemicals mix together to form carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide tries to escape the volcano in much the same way as it would if you had shaken a bottle of soda and then opened it. The dishwashing liquid traps the bubbles of gas, forming your lava. Gases and molten rock escape from a real volcano in much the same way as the carbon dioxide and water-based lava are forced out of the model volcano. You can recharge the volcano by adding more baking soda and vinegar so you can have as many eruptions as you like.

I hope you have enjoyed learning how to make a baking soda and vinegar volcano. To learn more about model volcanoes and real volcanoes and to get instructions for more chemistry projects, visit me on the web at Thanks for watching.
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