Friday, August 22, 2014

Mentos in Ice Cubes + Diet Coke = Surprise Disaster?

We've all seen the YouTube videos of someone dropping Mentos into a 2-liter of Diet Coke and producing a giant soda fountain explosion. Or perhaps you're a fan of "Wreck-It Ralph" and remember the importance of Diet Cola Mountain.

What would happen, though, if you put a Mentos in an ice cube and then offered your very thirsty friend a glass of Diet Coke? Will there be a giant soda fountian explosion in their face?? I had to try it out... on myself, of course.

Since Mentos sink to the bottom of water, there was no need to do a multiple-freeze process (add a little water to the ice cube tray, freeze, add a little more water, freeze, etc.). Instead, I just poured water into my ice tray, added 1 or 2 Mentos per cube, and let it freeze overnight.

The best part? You couldn't even tell there were Mentos in the ice cubes! Tee hee hee...

So I grabbed my diet soda, ice, and a glass, ran outside (since I definitely wasn't looking forward to the clean-up in the kitchen!) and started pouring.

Immediately bubbles started to form and I stepped back. Oh man, here it comes! I started my stopwatch, just to see how long it would take for it to explode, but I figured it couldn't be more than a minute or two.

...5 minutes later, the ice was melting and bubbles were forming, but no soda fountain. However, I realized it was in the shade, so I decided to move it over to a sunny area where the ice could melt faster. And I jostled the ice cubes a bit, thinking that might help speed up the process.

10 minutes later...

20 minutes later...

...finally after 30 minutes, the ice completely melted and there was no pop explosion. A sizzle, but that's it.

So why didn't this work? Well, the surface of a Mentos is like the moon, with tiny craters and pits. When the surface of a Mentos reacts with cola, little CO2 bubbles form and escape as gas. When millions of bubbles are created at once inside the bottom of soda bottle (because Mentos sink), that's when you see the rapid release and explosion of soda. However, because my Mentos were in water first, the surface already started to dissolve. Without those thousands of little pits for the carbon dioxide, there were no bubbles, leaving me with disgusting minty soda.

$3.99 for a bag of Mentos
$1.29 for Diet Coke


EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
If you like watching ice melt, then boy oh boy is this the project for you! Personally, I'd rather enjoy my pop without the minty aftertaste.

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