MadSci Network: Chemistry

Subject: What is the reaction that fills an automobile airbag?

Date: Sat Aug 7 07:54:00 1999
Posted by John Laliberte
Grade level: 10-12 School: Southington High School
City: North Haven State/Province: CT Country: USA
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 934026840.Ch

An activity that I do with my class is to have them design an airbag using 
a ziplock bag and the reaction between baking soda and acid.  As part of 
the introduction to this lab I give what I believe to be the reaction (the 
decomposition of sodium azide).  My brother (a mechanic) says I am wrong; 
however, he doesn't know the correct reaction.  If I am right, how do they 
handle the safety problems associated with sodium metal?
               2NaN3  --> 2N2 + 2Na

Re: What is the reaction that fills an automobile airbag?

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