When Mentos candies and diet soda come into contact, the result is explosive. The volcanic eruption is a result of the interaction between the carbon dioxide from the soda and the gelatin and gum Arabic of the candy. Try this experiment for a class project or as an entertaining way to spend your afternoon. Invite friends over and have a contest to see who can make their eruption go the farthest into the sky. Afterwards everyone can enjoy the candies remaining in the bottle as they are edible.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 3 by 8-inch paper
- White Mentos candies, box or roll
- 2-liter diet soda
Roll a 3 by 8-inch piece of paper into a long tube that is approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Tape the edge of the paper so the tube is secure.
Open a box or roll of Mentos candies. Count out seven candies.
Hold your hand on one of the open ends of the paper tube. Slide the Mentos into the tube and shake the tube slightly so the candies fall down in an even stack. Shake the tube back and forth to readjust the Mentos if necessary, as you do not want the candies to become lodged and unable to fall into the bottle at the correct time. Hold onto the filled tube.
Place a 2-liter diet soda on a flat surface, such as a in a grassy yard or on a flat driveway. Position the bottle so it is not beneath any structure, such as a gutter, awning or tree.
Ask everyone to step back away from the bottle at least six feet unless they want to be sprayed with diet soda. Unscrew the 2-liter bottle.
Hold your thumb over one end of the Mentos-filled tube. Position the tube directly over the mouth of the bottle. Look into the top of the tube to see if any of the Mentos have shifted; restack the Mentos if necessary by shaking and sliding the candies as you did when you loaded the tube.
Release your thumb from the end of the tube. Allow the Mentos to all fall into the soda bottle as rapidly as possible. Remove the tube and run away from the bottle to join the bystanders.
Watch as the Mentos begin to dissolve and cause a volcanic eruption with the soda; this will only take approximately three seconds to begin erupting.
Tips and warnings
- White mint-flavoured Mentos candies give the best eruption as compared to other flavours of the candies.
- Diet soda contains more carbon dioxide than sugar-laden sodas, so the volcanic eruption will go higher.
- Another advantage of using diet soda is that you will not have an insect-attracting sugary sweet mess to clean up afterwards.
- Do not attempt to add the candies to the bottle and replace the screw-on cap or the entire bottle will explode, sending sharp pieces of plastic flying.
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