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Need to find info about chemical reaction of lemon juice and baking soda. Doing experiment where gas produced will inflate balloon hopefully. Will outcome be a lot different than if I had used vinegar?

  • chemistry -

    lemon juice (citric acid):
    C6H8O7 + 3NaHCO3 <---> Na3C6H5O7 + 3H2CO3

    The reaction produces carbonic acid (i.e. carbonated water) which then degrades into H2O+CO2

    The reaction will be faster with vinegar (acetic acid). The gas produced is CO2, which will in theory inflate the balloon, but it will take a while.

    CH3COOH + NaHCO3 ----> CO2 + H2O + CH3COONa

    Also, the balloon will not float, since CO2 is heavier than air.

    Now, if you want a fast reaction that will produce a floating balloon, try dropping aluminum foil in a strong lye solution. You will get hydrogen, which floats. Plus, if you strap a fuse on the side of the balloon, ignite it and let it fly, you will get a nice fireball in the sky! You will probably have to experiment a bit to get the right strength of lye to avoid overheating the reaction and producing hot steamy gas that swill shrink when it cools.

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