Coke + Butane: Engineering the World’s Most Dangerous Soda Bottle Rocket, Using Science!

We’ve all seen the fun things which can be done to a bottle of Coke in the name of science. When you add Mentos to a bottle of Diet Coke it turns into a magnificent (and sticky) geyser. We’ve made air pressure rockets by pumping air into the bottle partially filled with water. The upside-down bottle fills with air and pushes the water out, propelling the bottle skyward. The slo-mo guys are taking this rocket-bottle concept to whole new level.

By injecting butane into a partially filled bottle of cola, the guys create a reaction which is MUCH more powerful than filling the bottle with pressurized air. When the butane enters the bottle it floats on top of the coke. Since it’s boiling point is much warmer than water, it slowly simmers off the top. When the bottle is inverted, the butane which is lighter the water (or cola) has nowhere to go, and it begins to rise and react with the temperature and carbonation (CO2) in the cola. This reaction with the causes an acceleration of the expansion, propelling the bottle  from his hand, instantly out of sight. Added bonus: this process also covers the Slo Mo guys in a thin film of sticky cola!

Now this is MUCH more entertaining experiment and just water and air in the bottle, but it is also MUCH more dangerous. By using butane as the propellant, we’re adding a flammable (and potentially explosive) element into the mix. If someone was having a smoke or grilling a hotdog within about 20 feet of this experiment, everyone would be very hurt! This is why they are doing this experiment in an abandoned quarry! PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Subscribe Today!

Get more of this great content sent directly to your inbox

The following two tabs change content below.

Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.