Eli5 How do they carbonate drinks?


I assume carbonation is a gas? But wouldn’t it all immediately leave the drink when Injected? I know carbonation leaves over time but I would think it would be more immediate. I could google this but I enjoy conversation and giving someone the chance to show off their intelligence.

In: Chemistry

CO2 gad is afded under pressure and bottlef that way. As long as the bottle or can isn’t opened, the gas stays in the liquid.

Just look for any soda maker for home use that does exactly that by forcing in carbon dioxide in a plastic bottle.

In an industrial plant, you do that in a larger pressure container and keep the pressure while you fill the container you sell it in. You the filling bottle part [in this video](https://youtu.be/yet4zA415B8?t=41).

Just like when you dissolve solids (like, say, sugar) in water, you can also dissolve gases like carbon dioxide. The gas will stay dissolved until something makes it want to come out: violent shaking (don’t open the can you just dropped), getting warm (the can you left on the counter is now flat), or having a surface to collect and make big bubbles (adding Mentos to Diet Coke) are common ways for carbonation to leave a solution.

If the container is closed, then over time the carbonation can be reabsorbed into the solution, so if you let that shaken can of soda sit for a long while, it will be just fine to drink.


When carbon dioxide is actually dissolved, we aren’t talking about tiny bubbles of gas, we are talking about individual molecules.

In that form, they aren’t exactly interested in bubbling out of your drink, they are just wandering around, like dissolved sugar in your tea. When the molecules run into eachother, they just bounce off and move on.

But when conditions change, like a reduction in pressure, the behaviour changes. When the molecules nudge eachother, the reduced pressure now allows them to stick to form microbubbles which then grow, and then when they are big enough, buoyancy makes them rise to the surface.

It’s a process, not an instantaneous thing.