How CO2 Tanks Create Your Favorite Soda Pop

Posted on: 14 December 2015

You know that fizzy, bubbly stuff in your favorite soda pop? Well, tanks of CO2 put the bubbles in there. That is correct--the same stuff people exhale from their lungs is used to create fizzy drinks that Americans imbibe by the gallons annually. You undoubtedly have several questions now about how carbon dioxide in a liquid does not kill you while in the same breath could kill you if you breathe in too much of it. You may also wonder how the gas is infused into the liquid, since molecules of the two forms of matter do not naturally adhere. Here are the answers to these puzzling fizzy drink questions.

Lots of Air Pressure and Cold Temperatures

To meld CO2 with soda syrup, both the CO2 and the syrup are released with extreme pressure behind them. Think of it as two cars colliding, only in this case you have the molecules of the soda syrup colliding with the molecules of the CO2. When ice cold water is added at the same time, it lowers the speed of the molecules in the CO2 gas, which makes it easier to adhere them to the soda syrup. (Gas molecules move very rapidly, as witnessed by a pot of boiling water. Cooling the gas molecules causes them to slow down just enough to stick to whatever they come into contact with.)

If you do not believe this, try heating up a cold soda and notice how quickly the CO2 escapes. As soon as the CO2 is gone, the soda is left "flat," meaning that it just tastes like syrup and water with no fuzzing bubbles in it at all. The pressure that was present at the time the soda pop was dispensed from the fountain machine or released from a can or bottle is now gone too. Ergo, there is nothing left forcing the CO2's molecules together with those of the soda syrup, and because the cold temperatures are also no longer present, there is nothing keeping the gas from separating and escaping.

Why the CO2 in Your Soda Pop Does Not Kill You

Because you are ingesting the CO2, from a company like Terry Supply Co, rather than breathing it in where it can affect your entire pulmonary system and your brain, the CO2 heads into the stomach. In the stomach, the gas is separated by the heat and acid of your stomach, and then the gas looks for the nearest escape. The nearest escape just happens to be your mouth, or the way the CO2 came in. Your body responds by burping and belching to release the gas, thereby making it impossible for the gas to remain in your body and reach toxic levels.