Why is the classic baking soda and vinegar reaction endothermic? Here are some possible answers I've come up with:

  1. The dissolution of the sodium acetate absorbs energy,
  2. The release of the carbon dioxide from solution absorbs energy, or
  3. Some combination of the above.

Your "all of the above" answer is correct, with emphasis on number 2. The phase change from a condensed phase (solid or liquid) to gas is almost always endothermic. It's the same thing as wetting your hand then blowing on it. The liquid water undergoes and endothermic phase transition which takes in heat from its surroundings, i.e. it evaporates and your hand gets cold.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.