Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kapuskasing Ontario Canada
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Mentos mint expedites a rapid release of carbon dioxide when dropped into a carbonated liquid, such as a soft drink, because of its high surface tension; so when the carbon dioxide is removed from the soda (a simple way to do this is to shake the bottle) it can't burst. Also, the small dents in the surface of the candy provide a great site for nucleation, which is how the carbon dioxide molecules can escape so rapidly. The escaping bubbles quickly turn into a raging foam, and the pressure can build dramatically in a restricted container such as a two-liter bottle. Fruit flavored Mentos produce a smaller reaction, because the wax coating blocks the pits that allow nucleation. Aspartame is one of many reactive components and/or catalysts in both the soda and the Mentos. Diet colas are preferred because they don't contain large amounts of sugar like regular colas. Sugar molecules help keep the carbon dioxide in solution, slowing the reaction. Artificial sweeteners in diet colas are much sweeter per molecule, and so make up a smaller proportion of the solution and allow a faster reaction; they also enhance the reaction. The resulting geyser can shoot as high as 6 meters (20 ft). The unofficial record reached in MythBusters, was over 34 feet with the use of a nozzle.