Carbon Dioxide Projects

Baking soda and white vinegar react to form carbon dioxide gas (CO2). Here are some fun things you can do with it:

1) Blowing Out a Candle


Directions: In the large jar pour in vinegar. In the smaller jar put in the soda. Carefully place the soda inside the large jar. The large jar also needs a lid with a straw in it. Put the lid on the large jar with the straw and then tip the bottle over gently and CO2 will form. You can then put out a small fire like a candle or match. You've made a fire extinguisher!

2) Blowing up a Balloon


Directions: Put several tablespoons of baking soda into a balloon and about a cup or so of vinegar into a small narrow-necked bottle. Stretch the balloon over the neck of the bottle and allow the baking soda fall into the vinegar. The mixture forms CO2 and blows up the balloon.

3) Build a Fire Extinguisher



1)     Put the tea light in the bottom of the bowl.

2)     Sprinkle baking soda around the candle.

3)     Light the candle.

4)     Add some vinegar to the baking soda (do not pour it directly on the flame!). The soda will start to froth… make sure the froth does not reach the flame.

5)     Watch what happens!

Explanation: Fire needs oxygen in order to burn. When the baking soda meets the vinegar, it creates carbon dioxide gas, which is more dense than oxygen. It effectively “pushes” the oxygen out of the bowl, and once this happens, the candle goes out. You can try re-lighting the candle; it won’t work because there is no oxygen left in the bowl.

4) Popping Film Canisters


Directions: Put a little water and a fraction of an Alka Seltzer tablet into a film canister. Replace the cap. Place it on a stand and then wait for it to explode. The gas from the Alka Seltzer creates pressure that will cause the lid to pop its top. Note! Be careful don't look down on the loaded canister sitting on the floor!

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