How do fizzing color tablets work?


Quick Answer

Tablets that fizz in and add color to water typically contain baking soda and other antacids that react to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles, explains Scientific American. Fizzing color tablets used in school classrooms, for example, contain baking soda and can demonstrate how temperatures affect chemical reactions, according to Educational Innovations.

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Full Answer

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, breaks down into sodium and bicarbonate in water, which react with hydrogen to produce fizz, especially in higher temperatures, according to Scientific American. This is because molecules move around and come into contact with each other more quickly when there is more heat or energy. Likewise, lower temperatures slow down the dissolving process for antacids, explains Alka-Seltzer. Antacid tablets that come into contact with water before use will fail to fizz.

Fizzing color tablets are also used as bath products, notes Martha Stewart. By mixing baking soda, citric acid and food coloring, people can create tablets that add bubbles and colors to bathwater. To avoid promting a chemical reaction before use, water should only moisten the baking soda slowly and in small amounts during the process. Another use for fizzing color tablets is to dye other chemistry experiments, suggests Incredible Science.

Fizzing tablets may include citric acid, which contains extra hydrogen to promote stronger reactions, details Scientific American.

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