# Can you carbonate a non aqueous liquid?

We have a home carbonator for makeing seltzer. It blows $\ce{CO2}$ under high pressure into water. Could I use it to carbonate corn oil? Is $\ce{CO2}$ soluble in a no aqueous solution?

• There are some things human beings were never meant to carbonate. – Richard Terrett Apr 10 '13 at 3:22
• @RichardTerrett: Unfortunately we could never get funding for the Large Soda Stream Collider, designed to carbonate fundamental fundamental particles. – Aesin Apr 13 '13 at 12:23
• Boldly to carbonate everything, which nobody carbonated before..... – Georg Apr 16 '13 at 10:52

$\ce{CO2}$, being non-polar (due to the 180 degree bond angles), will probably be more soluble in solvents that are non-polar as well, although the quadrupole moment might cause higher solubility in polar solvents as well (thanks to @georg for this addition). Also temperature will play a significant role, the higher the temperature the lower the solubility.

These qualitative remarks however only take you so far. If you really want to know the solubility in a specific liquid you will have to look it up or, if that is not possible, test it yourself. In this paper they test the solubility of $\ce{CO2}$ in different types of crude oil and make predictions based on the structure of the oil.

I cannot find anything specific for corn oil, although the reverse process of dissolving palm oil in supercritical $\ce{CO2}$ might set you on the right track to find what you want to know.

Just a fun addition: don't ever try to carbonate milk as these guys do - it will get messy! (it is in Dutch, but you can still watch what happens). Click here an English video with similar footage

• ""CO2, being non-polar"" This is wrong! CO2 has a quadrupole moment, which enhances solubility in polar solvents. – Georg Apr 16 '13 at 10:50
• @Georg - You are right that CO2 has a quadrupole moment, but that does not classify it as a polar molecule. Indeed, you are right, it would make it more soluble in polar solvents due to this. - However, a molecule is called non-polar if there are no positive or negative poles because $\ce{CO2}$ has its bonds exactly at 180 degrees the oxygen atom on the left pulls just as hard as the oxygen atom on the right thus leaving it without poles hence 'non-polar'. See e.g. chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryglossary/a/nonpolardef.htm – Michiel Apr 16 '13 at 11:50
• Come to think about it a bit more. In the formal physics definition a quadrupole moment would indeed mean that the molecule is polar. However, the standard definition used by chemists for polarity is that the dipole moment is 0 so that would make CO2 a non-polar molecule. See this post by @Manishearth for details physics.stackexchange.com/questions/59886/… – Michiel Apr 16 '13 at 11:59

$\ce{CO2}$ is also soluble in various organic liquids, but your mileage may vary

From an excellent comment by Greg E. that he didn't opt to turn into an answer:

CO2 is a non-polar molecule, so its solubility will be partially a function of the polarity of the solvent in question. Furthermore, solubility of gases is very sensitive to temperature. Solvation of a gas is entropically disfavored (lower degrees of freedom for the gas molecules), so at some point a further increase in temperature will take primacy over the heat of solution (enthalpy change due to solvation) and any further increase in temperature will actually result in more CO2 coming out of solution. Additionally, higher temperature will increase the vapor pressure of solution.