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Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)

Why does it over flow when baking soda and vinegar are combined?


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May 14, 2012 8:09AM

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate reacts with an acid to form carbonic acid. The disassociation constant of carbonic acid is extremely low and as a result it decomposes into a water molecule and a carbon dioxide molecule. If the reactiouroccurs quickly enough ( either it is hot enough or excess was poured), enough carbon dioxide will evolve to make it overflow.

HA = any acid

HA + NaHCO3 ----> H2CO3 + NaA

H2CO3 -------> H2O + CO2