|How to stop soda from exploding?|
|Question Date: 2019-09-19|
First, we need to know why soda bubbles. Soda is fizzy because it has carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolved in it, which creates carbonic acid (H2CO3). This carbonic acid is what makes soda slightly acidic, or sour tasting. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in your soda by using high pressures. When you open a can of soda, you release that extra pressure and the carbonic acid starts to convert back to carbon dioxide gas, which creates bubbles. Eventually, it all escapes and you're left with flat soda which doesn't fizz and tastes weirdly sweet because there's no carbonic acid left to balance it out.
So why does soda explode? It turns out that bubbles need some help to start forming. Have you ever looked at soda in a glass? You'll notice that the bubbles tend to form along the walls and bottom of the glass before floating to the top. Creating a new bubble starts with a process called nucleation, where some carbon dioxide bubbles happen to come together in a small clump, starting the bubble. This process is a lot easier along small bumps or particles stuck to surfaces -- this is why the bubbles in your soda tend to form on the walls of your glass, for instance.
Another way to nucleate a bunch of bubbles is by shaking a soda can and agitating all of the molecules, which is why when you open it shortly after, you've created a bunch of bubbles and it explodes. Letting everything calm down by just letting the soda sit still prevents the soda from creating too many bubbles when you open it. Try this at home! Shake two soda cans then let one sit for 5-10 minutes before opening, and open the other immediately. DO THIS IN THE COMPANY OF A GROWN UP, and be careful of not exposing yourself too close to the shaken can while opening it.
Soda can explode out of a bottle when you open it because you are releasing the pressure inside very quickly. The actual force for the explosion is the expansion of the gas bubbles inside the liquid. When soda is made, the cap is placed on the bottle under high pressure in order to keep the bubbles inside. Opening the cap releases the pressure and allows the bubbles to escape. Often, you can open a bottle of soda without the liquid exploding out, but sometimes, especially if you have shaken the bottle, the soda comes rushing out as soon as you take off the cap.
One way to prevent this explosion is to allow a soda that has been shaken, to settle. Just leave it for a few hours. This allows the bubbles to come to the top of the liquid, so that when you open the bottle, they can immediately escape into the air, without pushing your soda up with them.
Another way is to tap the sides (not the top) of the bottle in order to dislodge the bubbles and allow them to come to the top. A third way is to open the cap a small amount and stop, allow bubbles to rise, and continue opening slowly, so that the pressure release is more controlled. Some liquid will be pushed up by the bubbles as they escape into the air, but because of the slower release of pressure, they move more slowly and are less likely to spray soda up out of the bottle.
Gasses are more soluble in water when the water is cold. Cooling the soda off should keep it from exploding when you remove the pressure. Also, opening it in high pressure air (near sea level) will help, but warm soda can still explode even at sea level.
If you want to open a can of soda without it exploding, first, do not shake the soda before you open it. Second, put the soda in the fridge for some minutes. Both of these will help lower the energy of the gas bubbles, in other words, these actions make the gas in the soda less likely to rise to the top. If you do one or both, the soda will be less likely to explode.
I figured you would just be careful not to shake the soda before you opened it, but I copied your question into google, and the first answer surprised me. I wonder if it works! :
Vigorously shake a can of soda for about 1 minute and open it. ...
Now vigorously shake a can of soda for about 1 minute, but this time, tap the top of the can a few times with your finger.
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.