Fill balloons with carbon dioxide | Fizzics Education


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Fill a Balloon with CO2

Fill a Balloon with CO2

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • Empty bottle
  • Spoon
  • Funnel
  • Bicarbonate Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Balloon
  • Safety glasses


A vinegar bottle, funnel. balloon, spoon, bicarbonate soda and an empty soda bottle
1 Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide experiment - filling the bottle with vinegar

Place the funnel in the bottle and pour in 50mL of vinegar.

2 Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide experiment - adding bicarbonate soda to the balloon

Put the funnel into the balloon and then add a spoonful of bicarbonate soda.

3 Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide experiment - adding the balloon to the bottle

Carefully stretch the balloon over the top of the bottle. Keep the end of the balloon lower than the bottle opening to prevent the bicarbonate soda from falling into the vinegar when you’re not ready.

4 Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide experiment - pouring the bicarb soda into the vinegar in the bottle

Whilst holding the balloon onto the opening of the bottle, raise up the balloon to allow the bicarbonate soda to fall into the vinegar in the bottle.

5 Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide experiment - balloon inflated with CO2

The balloon rises as it fills with carbon dioxide gas!

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Why Does This Happen:

Reacting vinegar and bicarbonate soda together produces carbon dioxide and water.

The reaction is as follows

Vinegar + Bicarbonate Soda —> Carbonic Acid + Sodium Acetate

The carbonic acid is unstable though, so it breaks down into liquid water and carbon dioxide as a gas, causing the massive ‘build-up’ of pressure you saw in the experiment.

The water is left in the vinegar solution whilst the carbon dioxide rises and fills the balloon on the bottle.

Variable testing

More on variables here

  • Change the amount of bicarbonate soda
  • Change the amount of vinegar
  • Does the size of the bottle matter?
  • Does the temperature of the vinegar matter?

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