Homemade Volcano – Experiment

Materials Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Red food coloring 
  • A container or model volcano

The Science Behind the Eruption:

  • Chemical Reaction: A homemade volcano’s eruption is caused by a chemical reaction between baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid).
  • Gas Production: When baking soda and vinegar mix, they react to form carbon dioxide gas (CO₂). The gas makes the eruption happen.

Step-by-Step Explanation:

  • Mixing Ingredients: When you pour vinegar into a container with baking soda, the acid in the vinegar reacts with the base in the baking soda, producing bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
  • Bubbles and Pressure: The carbon dioxide gas forms quickly, creating many bubbles. As more gas is produced, it builds up pressure inside the container.
  • Eruption: The increasing pressure forces the liquid and gas to escape, creating an eruption that looks like lava flowing out of a real volcano.

Making the Eruption Last Longer

  • Slowly Add Vinegar: Instead of adding all the vinegar at once, pour it in slowly. This will cause a more gradual reaction and a longer-lasting eruption.
  • Add More Baking Soda: Using a larger amount of baking soda can extend the duration of the reaction as more gas is produced over time.

Making the Eruption Last Shorter

  • Add Vinegar All at Once: Pour the vinegar in quickly and all at once, causing a rapid reaction and a shorter eruption.
  • Use a Wider Opening: A container with a wider opening will allow the gas to escape more quickly, resulting in a faster, shorter eruption.


Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about volcanoes:

  • Before some real volcanic eruptions, small earthquakes called tremors can be felt. 
  • Unlike natural volcanic lava, which can reach temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the “lava” from the homemade volcano is cool to touch.
  • Worldwide museums are dedicated to volcanoes, such as the Volcano House in Iceland and the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in the USA.



Let’s quickly recap what we learned about homemade volcanoes:

  • A chemical reaction between which two ingredients causes a homemade volcano to erupt? Baking Soda & Vinegar
  • Which gas builds up pressure inside the container, causing the eruption? Carbon Dioxide
  • What happens when the vinegar is poured in slowly? Longer Eruption
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