Dioxide Balloon


To "see" the carbon dioxide gas that is released during this chemical reaction we use a balloon to capture it.



Affiliate links to chemicals.

*Note: These chemicals can be purchased locally at stores such as Walmart/Target.

  • Nuffield Spatula

  • Erlenmeyer Flask

Video of the experiment!


1. In Erlenmeyer flask, pour in vinegar.

2. Using the Nuffield spatula, scoop baking soda into the Erlenmeyer flask.

3. Quickly cover the Erlenmeyer flask with balloon (Tip: practice this move a couple times before adding chemicals)

The Science Behind the Reaction

The chemical reaction is formed when the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) combine to form sodium acetate and carbonic acid.  The carbonic acid is unstable and turns into carbon dioxide gas.  Carbon dioxide is clear and usually dissipates in the air. The balloon captures the gas.

Keep Experimenting!


Remove balloon and quickly tie off end. Does the balloon float like a helium balloon?  Why not?

Find out the answer here!

The carbon dioxide gas captured in the balloon is heavier than air.  Helium is  lighter than air

and thus it floats.