How to show a volcanic eruption at home using the baking soda and vinegar?

The article explains the procedure to show volcanic eruption at home using the sodium bicarbonate or the baking soda and the vinegar. The children can do this at home without the need for any costly materials. The article provided the reasons for the eruption of the model volcano which is the neutralization reaction occurring between vinegar and baking soda or an acid and a salt.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to make a volcano from baking soda and vinegar. These two things are most commonly found in the Indian kitchens are are used to prepare food items. When a volcano erupts, it gives out lava and fumes of dust particles. Lava is the hot liquid that is ejected from inside the earth due to high pressure and heat. When the lava reaches the surface of the earth, it cools down and forms various minerals that are extracted by man. However, a sudden volcanic eruption may cause huge loss of life and property as was the case with the Vesuvius volcanic eruption. Along with the lava and magma, a huge amount of poisonous and polluting gases like sulphur-di-oxide are also released into the air.

Materials required to make a volcano

• A bowl or a conic solid to make the base for the volcano
• Some amount of baking soda.
• Vinegar
• Paint, basically the red and brown colors
• Some pieces of newspapers
• Mixture of glue and water in 1:3 ratios
• Tissue papers
• Sand, clay and other waste material to give a real look to the volcano.

Procedure to make volcano at home and show its eruption

• First of all, we all know that a volcano is almost a cone shaped structure with its topmost part open from where the lava erupts. You can take the help of a bowl or a tea-cup to act as the support for this conic structure. Glue the cone to the ground firmly so that the cone does not get disjointed at the time of eruption.

• Take some pieces of old newspapers and stick them one after on the bowl so that a more strong structure is made. Leave it for some days so that it can get dry. Next day, cover the entire structure with glue and put some sand, clay and other natural materials on the cone to give it a shape of the volcano. Remember, the more it resemble to the volcanic, greater shall be the enjoyment of the volcanic eruption.

• Paint the entire thing with red and brown color or any other color of your choice. But see that the color must assemble with the real volcano. After you have painted the structure, mix some glue with water. There must be three parts of water and one part of glue in the mixture. Pour the mixture over the cone so that the paint can stay there for a long time. Before the glue mixture dries, place some of the tissue paper over the volcano to give it a horrible and a dilapidated look. Before the tissue papers are placed, crush them properly. You may paint the volcano again if required. After you have completed this entire task, leave the volcano for at least a day so that it can dry again.

• The net task is the climax of the activity. Prepare the main ingredients of the model volcano at home and keep them at your side when you show it to your friends. The ingredients are the baking soda called the sodium bicarbonate and the vinegar. Also add a little food coloring, preferably of the red color to the bottle of vinegar.

• Put the baking soda powder inside the mouth of the volcano and then pour a little vinegar over it. See that the vinegar reaches the baking soda or else the reaction shall not take place. Remember, more the amount of the ingredients in your volcano, greater shall be the eruption. Keep one thing in mind that at the time of eruption, you should not peep over the volcano to see what is happening as the sudden bursts may damage your eyes.

• You shall also hear a fizzing voice as heard at the time of opening the soft drinks bottles. This sound is called the "effervescence".

Reason why the volcano erupts from baking soda and the vinegar

Baking soda is a salt and vinegar is a weak acid. When both of them reacts inside the volcano, carbon-di-oxide is formed that is lighter than air and can be stored only at a high pressure. Since a normal atmospheric pressure exists inside the volcano, carbon-di-oxide escapes through the volcano producing a fizzing sound. This reaction is called the neutralization reaction.

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