Why do Mentos mints cause soda to explode?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Nasor, Dec 28, 2005.

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  1. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

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    We tried this at work with a regular coca cola (1½L) and 1 package of mentos mint with a overwelmingly disapointing result, sure it the cola reacted to the mentos, but it only produces a 10cm soda beam at its peak, so very disapointing.
    how ever coca cola with out the fizz and a minty flavor actualy taste ok

    in the movie they use diet and also inverts cut and paste mention diet soda, has anyone tried this, i think i will tomorrow.
     
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    I tried it with a cheap generic brand cola and 3 mentos. It shot about six feet in the air and sustained that height for about 2-3 seconds.
     
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  5. ricegf Registered Member

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    We did some experimentation this past weekend. We tried Tic Tacs, Altoids and a few other mint products against generic diet soda, and all produced the disappointing 10cm soda beam.

    Only the Mentos-brand mints (the ones that are sized to fit perfectly in a test tube) produced the 2m soda beam for several seconds. I have no idea what's so special about that particular brand with respect to soda.

    But the kids in our children's church were certainly amazed! (We used an old 2m diameter children's swimming pool to catch (ahem) most of the flying soda.)
     
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  7. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

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    Well we continued our little game the next day with a coca cola light(proberly the same as US diet) 2l. which produce a 3-4m high beam for a few seconds, with 13 mentos.

    The day after that we tried a coca cola light, normal cocacola and a cheap pineapple soda, all of then only 0.5L. non of thies made any significant beam althou the light cola reacted slightly faster then the rest followed by the pineapple and then regular cola.

    Our end conclusion is that it must be a mixture of the ligth soda and the special shape of the 2L bottle that enables it to make such high beams.

    Tasting
    Coca Cola Light aswell as normal Cola tasted quite ok with a slight minty flavor and no fizz, however letting the mentos get absorbed in the cola for a prolonged period of time is NOT recommended, as that will make the cola far to minty, to the point where it give a slight burn on the lips.

    Pineapple and mentos.... big nono

    edit.: because i felt like doing so
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2006
  8. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    This sounds all much more interesting than the experiments I do for a living.

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  9. hug-a-tree Live the life Registered Senior Member

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    I've heard that if you bite into a mento in the dark you can see it spark.
     
  10. entwife Registered Member

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    Sparking mints

    No, I don't think Mentos spark. That's Wintergreen lifesavers. Crunch 'em up in a dark bathroom while looking in the mirror.
     
  11. Barry Flannery Registered Member

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    The primary cause for the reaction is actually due to ''nucleation sites'' on the mentos sweet. It has a huge surface area compare to what you see due to micro cavities (look at the lunar surface for example). This helps creating bubbles and a higher surface area allows more reactions to take place.

    Barry
     
  12. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

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    With the Mentos sweets you have a good combination of size and weight. For this reaction to work right it has to start at the bottom of the soda. It even has to wait until it gets to the bottom. Mentos is heavy so it sinks faster than it causes fizzing. Then the weight of the soda on top of it contains the reaction a little longer so that it builds a bigger charge of gas. There is also the fact that Mentos fits the opening of the two-liter bottle. The coating prevents bubbles from clinging to the candy and lifting it from the bottom of the bottle.

    ANY shock to the soda pop causes it to release gas. When the shock starts at the bottom it involves the whole volume of the liquid. A little bit of fizzing cascades into a lot of fizzing, you just need an initial jolt to start the cascade going.
     
  13. Archie Registered Senior Member

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    If nothing else, you would do some world class belches and quite possibly projectile vomiting.

    The danger comes in not being able to vent the expanding gasses quickly enough. The human stomach does stretch and is reasonably strong, but it's pretty finite and was never intended for this sort of thing.

    I would seriously discourage anyone from trying this sort of thing. At best, you probably vomit foam through your nose - at worst you rupture your stomach. Reminds me unfavorably of "Hey Bubba; hold my beer and watch this!"

    Stand by, film at eleven.
     
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