A visionary decided earlier this year to finally give the people what they want, in dropping a fat load of baking powder into the equivalent of 10,000 liters of Coca Cola. The “experiment” is estimated to cost just over $9,000 (should’ve used a generic brand), a hefty price for a soda fountain but the stunt has already amassed over 6 million views on YouTube, so maybe it was worth it after all.
Known to YouTube as Mimax, the popular Russian blogger Maxim Monakhov had reportedly been planning the stunt for years as he explains in the video’s caption that the seed for his cola fountain was first sowed four years ago. “Yes, it would seem such an absurd and useless thing – but for me it means a lot,” he explained. “My whole career is about this.”
The video sees scores of people preparing a custom-made vat inside which thousands of bottles of coke are poured. While the exploding coke viral trend more commonly features Mentos as the catalyst, for his experiment Mimax instead used baking soda. The chemical reaction this triggers is significantly different from that created by Mentos, but in similar quantities the aesthetic result is basically the same. He opted for baking soda as it’s cheaper, he explains in the video. Smart to be wary of the budget when you’ve blown several thousand on soda, I guess.
When the baking powder is poured into the well of soda, the combination of ingredients creates huge quantities of carbon dioxide gas, sending the beverage spewing into the skies. The reaction happens as a result of an acidic element meeting a basic one, and by basic we mean of course alkaline, not ya basic.
When the two combine, hydrogen from the acid reacts with carbonate and produces the intermediate compound hydrogen carbonate, which immediately breaks down into CO2 and water. The sudden emergence of CO2 forces the water out of the pressurized vat and creates a volcanic eruption of cola. The reaction doesn’t create new CO2 but just releases that which is already contained within the soft drink. If you’ve ever opened a recently dropped, family-sized bottle of soda, you’ll have a rough idea of how much that is – now imagine scaling that up to 10,000 liters worth of soft drink. Talk about making it rain.