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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 358-362

Investigation of the Mechanism of the Diet Soda Geyser Reaction

David E. Gardner, Bhargav R. Patel, Vicktoria K. Hernandez†, Duncan Clark, Scott Sorensen, Kyle Lester, Yvette Solis, Dan Tapster, Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and Albert D. Dukes, III*,†

Department of Physical Sciences, Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina, 29649,; Beyond Productions, San Francisco, CA 94107
Received September 2, 2014. Accepted September 27, 2014.

Published: 28 November 2014

Abstract. In this laboratory experiment, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy are used to measure expired and unexpired over-the-counter ibuprofen tablets. The laboratory, which is appropriate for an upper-level analytical chemistry course, introduces students to HPLC and addresses an interesting question from everyday life. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy is also performed on the same samples, and results are compared. The use of an instrumentation amplifier and Vernier software with legacy instrumentation is also described.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; quantitative analysis; HPLC

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (80 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

We investigated the origins of the popular Diet Coke and Mentos classroom demonstration. We tested the effects that regular and diet sodas have on generating the geyser as well as the role that the flavored coating and temperature play in the geyser process. During the exploration of the parameter space, we observed that a geyser process for the soda consisted of two distinct steps. (7.23 MB)

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