Baking Soda and Vinegar
Name: Emily C.
My class did a science experiment that combined baking
soda and vinegar. We put out a flame with the carbon dioxide gas. My
teacher said that we made water, salt and carbon dioxide in the
reaction. He said it was not table salt though. When I asked what kind
it was he said I could get extra credit if I found out what kind of salt
it is. Can you help me? Thanks for your time!
Your experiment was an example of a reaction between and acid (vinegar) and a
base (baking soda). Such reactions typically form a "salt" and water. In your
experiment, because the acid component was acetic acid, it allowed production
of one of the products ==> sodium acetate. That is the stuff referred to
In the general case of simple acid-base reactions, the term, "salt"
the non-water, ionic product. If hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide were
the reactants, then NaCl (common salt) would be the non-water product. Your
reaction looks like this:
HC2H3O2 + NaHCO3 ===> NaC2H3O2 + H2CO3
Acetic acid plus sodium bicarbonate makes sodium acetate plus carbonic acid
The NaC2H3O2 is the salt called sodium acetate.
The H2CO3 (carbonic acid) then breaks down into water and carbon dioxide:
H2CO3 ===> H2O + CO2
I hope this wins your extra credit
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Update: June 2012