As soon as Mentos Candies are added in Diet Coke beverage, it immediately produces large amount of foam which sprays out of the container at rapid pace which can erupt up to as high as 15 ft jet. If somehow you manage to keep the bottle closed, then the pressure inside the bottle will increase immediately causing a loud explosion.
Any carbonated drink produces similar effect, but best results are known to be obtained with Diet Coke. Hence, this experiment is also called Diet Coke Mentos Bomb.
Soft drink bottles are usually made of plastic and cannot uphold large pressure. If you want to produce a louder explosion, in my opinion you should consider using a container with thick walls and air-tight lid.
Chemistry behind Diet Coke and Mentos Explosion
The foam formation is primarily caused by nucleation of constituents of Diet Coke and Mentos resulting in release of Carbon Dioxide in large amounts.
The chemicals behind the large amount of foam production during the process are –
In Diet Coke :
- C7H5KO2 (Potassium Benzoate or E212)
- C14H18N2O5 (Aspartame or APM)
- CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
In Mentos Candy :
- Gelatin (E441)
- Gum Arabic (Complex of Glycoproteins and Polysaccharides)
Note : Fruit-flavored Mentos Candies are not suitable for the purpose due to their waxy coating on the surface. Mint-flavored Mentos Candies (without any coating) are most suitable for the process.
Diet Coke Mentos Bomb Tutorial
To produce the explosion is very simple, but we must have to adopt the precautionary measures. Here is brief tutorial and video demonstration of the experiment –
Materials Required :
- Diet Coke (2 Liter Beverage) – 1 Bottle
- Mint-Flavored Mentos Candies (Without Any Waxy Coating) – 5 Candies
- 1.5 Inch Iron Nail – 1 Piece
- Small Magnet – 1 Piece
- Thread to Fasten
First of all pierce all the Mentos Candies through the Iron Nail. For extra safety tie the Candies with the Nail using the thread. Now uncork the Diet Coke Bottle and separate the cap. On the outside of the cap keep the Magnet and on the inside keep the Candies tied with the Iron Nail. Make sure the Magnet is strong enough to hold the weight of the Nail and Candies. The Magnet will attract the Nail through the cap. Slowly tighten the cap. Remove the Magnet and run away immediately. You’ll soon witness a loud explosion.
- Try this experiment only in large open space. Never attempt inside home.
- Make sure nobody is nearby while attempting the explosion.
- Be certain that the liquid is significantly below to not touch the Candies while you are tightening the cap. To be sure, you can gulp two or three sips to get the level down.
- Close the cap tightly but very slowly so that the Candies along with the Iron Nail do not fall in the liquid.
- After taking out the Magnet, run away as quickly as possible. It takes just a few seconds to explode.
Watch the following video demonstration of the experiment discussed above.