MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What happens to the water molecules when I add Baking Soda and Citric Acid?

Date: Tue Oct 10 16:27:28 2000
Posted By: Jerry McCormick, Staff, Chemistry, Independent Consultant
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 970381311.Ch

Dear Haley,
Your mother is correct when she says the bubbles are carbon dioxide.  The water 
is there only as a solvent, something that converts the two solid reagents into
liquid (solution) so they can react.  Your interest in chemistry is encouraging, 
keep it up!

Milk is a reasonable substitute for water as it is mostly water, but vinegar 
would short-circuit the reaction by making bubbles before the citric acid had a
chance to react.  Lemon juice also contains citric acid so it would add little 
to the situation.

Signed:  Mad Scientist Adjunct

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