The Coke Zero and Mentos experiment has come a long way since its humble beginning. However, while people have tried various variations of the experiment, very few have taken it to the level that Fritze Grobe and Steve Voltz, the founders of Eeepy have.
The two have almost made a career out of testing different ways to use the power generated by mixing the two ingredients. Over the years, they have powered musical geysers, water fountains and even, two cars with this 'fuel'.
The first one dubbed Mark 1 was put to test in the summer of 2010. Using 108, 2-liter bottles of Coke Zero it covered a distance of 230 feet before running out of 'gas'. However, the duo thought they could do better and embarked on creating a more efficient version.
So, on December 7th they introduced a new and improved, Mark 11. Not only was it sleeker, smaller, lighter and faster but, it also zoomed for 209 feet or about the same distance as Mark 1, using half the number of Coke Zero bottles.
While it looks magical, the mechanics behind this thrust is fairly simple. Each bottle is attached to a six foot long tube that contains a similar-sized rod. This entire contraption is then placed against a solid wall that is attached to a sheet of plywood, upon which sits the Rocket car. When the Mentos is dropped into the soda bottles, all the pressure it creates tries to push out of the tube generating enough power to give the car a giant push for at least 6 feet. After that, it just coasts on the momentum created.
The powerful reaction caused when Mentos and Coke Zero are combined is not chemical, but physical. The carbon dioxide that helps create the fizz in colas is always looking to escape and is drawn to tiny bumps or nucleation sites, to which the it attaches and starts forming bubbles.
Mentos provides the perfect nucleation site thanks to its 40 microscopic layers of liquid sugar that result in thousands of bumps. It is therefore not surprising, that when the two are combined in large quantities, miracles happen! To view what other experiments these crazy scientists have conducted and get some pointers on how to do them at home, be sure check out www.eepybird.com.