MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What will happen when you mix's gasoline and baking-soda?

Date: Sat Apr 1 19:21:17 2000
Posted By: Jonathan Feldman, Undergraduate, Applied Chemistry, University of Technology, Sydney
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 951702975.Ch

Hi Erin,

I wasn't quite sure about whether baking soda and gasoline would react, so I did a simple experiment.  I took some baking soda and mixed it with vinegar, and got the expected result of bubbling and fizzing.  I then mixed the baking soda with gasoline, and the result didn't surprise me - Nothing happened.

Vinegar is mainly acetic acid (CH3COOH), and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3).

The reaction between sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid is this:

Acetic acid + Sodium bicarbonate --> Sodium acetate + Water + Carbon dioxide

All the bubbles you see are carbon dioxide.
Using almost any acid instead of vinegar will cause the same bubbling effect.

However, because gasoline is not very acidic this reaction does not occur.

Jonathan Feldman
University of Technology, Sydney

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