photo blog of recent D.I.Y. happenings in and around my workshop

Coke vs. Mentos, CO2 Power

Filed under: Alternative Energy — dynamodan @ 9:58 am March 1, 2008

There’s a saying that goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull
boy.” Well, just in case things were getting a bit dull in the
workshop, we decided to blow off $2 and some odd cents worth of a different
type of energy: Soda-borne carbon dioxide. Since Dan’s Workshop
performs all projects in a very orderly and scientific fashion, below
you will find the details of this, umm, alternative energy method and
apparatus.

Fun uses alternative energy too!

This project is not original with me. Thanks to the experiments conducted by the dignified gentlemen at EepyBird.com,
most of the research was already done. (Of course, these kinds of
things need to be “peer reviewed” to prove whether or not they are
truth, quack science, or simply urban legends.) Current studies have
shown that Mentos™ and Diet Coke™ exhibit the most powerful and
energetic chemical reactions.

 

Only the best quality materials

Mentos really could be hand drilled, but there is always the chance of
the bit suddenly gouging through the mento, through my finger and then
my toe, and into the concrete floor! So I elected to use my drill press
and a 1/16″ bit to do the job.

 

Precision drilling setup…

Everything lined up. Can’t get that hole one micron off center, you know. The fizz might just come out sideways.

Drilling the mentos

The Mento must hereafter be referred to as an Activator Bead. The hole through the center is for mounting on the Triggering Device.

Finished Activator Bead

The Triggering Device is made from galvanized (zinc plated) wire, for a
lack of better material to use. Plus, the zinc that leaches off into
the leftover Diet Coke should help my psoriasis (that is if I end up
getting any, the children will probably guzzle it, the little
buzzards!).

Little bit of zinc for the diet

Five Mentos should do the trick. The assembly has somewhat of a high
voltage look to it, but there will be no discharges of electricity in
this experiment.

 

Activator Stack

The wire is bent so that the Activator Stack can be kept raised until
the final countdown. Then a slight nudge will plunge the Activator
Stack down into the Diet Coke, releasing copious amounts of energ–uhh,
carbon dioxide, aka “fizz.”

Trigger Mechanism

I thought a 5/32″ sized hole should provide a significant wow factor. I
think it was a bit small. But it did make a display of significant
duration, rather than a sudden burst that died down quickly.

 

Drilling out the nozzle

The whole family was present to observe. My wife was concerned for the
safety of the front porch for this experiment. She suggested I move at
least a few feet away from the steps. After all, some types of tests
need to be done out in the desert, you know.Click
the picture to download a quicktime movie (13.5MB) of the front porch
being violently blown off the house. (I needed to get under there to
clean out the cat knuddles anyway.)

NOTE: I was a little jumpy myself, I admit, but there shall be NO LAUGHING when I am seen retreating a step or two from the pending reaction.

Experiment one, exploding the front porch

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