One of the most curious uses for a chemical reaction is to turn it into a tool for blowing up balloons or inflatable devices. Such an experiment can be used to create a good presentation at a science fair. Today, we will look at how to make a homemade inflator using the concept of chemical reaction.
- Birthday balloon.
- 500 mL PVC bottle.
- Sodium bicarbonate.
- Acetic acid (Vinegar).
Creating our homemade inflator
First, we clean our bottle with dishwasher and plenty of water, and we put it to dry. Once dry, place a little vinegar inside (a few drops) and move the bottle until it is completely impregnated with vinegar. This procedure is called curing and it is a laboratory process aimed at eliminating impurities.
Empty the bottle and place inside it a quantity of vinegar equivalent to 1 cm high. To do this, we use a ruler or a tape measure to obtain the measurement.
Then, we place a teaspoon of baking soda inside the balloon. Now comes the most delicate procedure: with the help of our fingers, we hold the baking soda inside the balloon so that it cannot leak out of the balloon. Next, hold the bottle upright, place the mouth of the balloon in the opening of the bottle and secure this union without allowing the bicarbonate to come into contact with the bottle.
Now, remove your fingers from the part containing the bicarbonate and allow the bicarbonate to fall into the bottle and come into contact with the vinegar, preventing the balloon from coming loose from the bottle. We will be able to see how the balloon inflates little by little.
How it works
When baking soda is combined with vinegar, a neutralisation reaction is created, as vinegar is an acid and baking soda is an alkaline salt. As this reaction takes place, a gas called sodium bicarbonate is released, which rises up the bottle and inflates the balloon. Carbon dioxide is a common gas found in soft drinks and expelled during the breathing process.