Basic chemistry has been used for centuries as a rapid way to achieve scientific, civilian and military objectives. One of the most widely used applications of chemistry is the harnessing of various chemical reactions to generate small weapons that can deliver projectiles from a distance. In this article, we will look at how to make a rocket launcher out of vinegarThis is the first time that a chemical reaction can be used as a fuel to generate two-dimensional motion through air.
- A glass bottle.
- A cork for the glass bottle.
- A piece of plastic sheeting for wrapping notebooks.
- Half a cup of water.
- Half a cup of vinegar.
- Sodium bicarbonate.
- Absorbent paper.
Creating our rocket launcher
The first step in our experiment is to take a piece of absorbent paper and place a little baking soda on it, about a teaspoon.
Once this is done, roll the paper towel tightly into a sort of birthday surprise-style packaging.
Next, attach the piece of plastic lining to the cork and fix it in place with the help of pushpins.
We take the bottle that we have previously washed and pour the vinegar and water into it. We place the bottle in an open place, place our absorbent paper packet inside and quickly seal it with the cork, as tightly as we can.
Now, we wait a few minutes and watch the cork we have used as a rocket fly through the air.
How it works
In this experiment, we were testing a classic reaction in the study of chemistry, which is called acid-base neutralisation.
The reaction occurs when a dilute solution of acetic acid (vinegar and water) combines with sodium bicarbonate (base) releasing bubbles of gas (carbon dioxide) which, as they accumulate inside the bottle, will generate enough pressure to expel the cork and shoot it away from its launching pad (bottle).