# Why does soda explode if artificial sweetener or other powders are added?

I opened a can of soda and spilled some generic artificial sweetener into the soda and it exploded. Why did this happen? I am not talking about mentos, I mean artificial sweeteners like Splenda.

• Possible duplicate of How does the Mentos-Coke explosion work? – Mithoron Apr 14 '17 at 16:24
• This answer is applicable to your question also. – airhuff Apr 14 '17 at 18:19
• I would suggest tbat the added fine powder provided a lot of nucleation sites for the dissolved CO2 in the soda very quickly hence the foaming. – Waylander Apr 14 '17 at 21:28
• I don't think a more general question should be considered dulicate. – A.K. Sep 10 '18 at 21:22

Artificial sweetener powder causes nucleation of the carbonation in the soda/pop/soda-pop. The carbon dioxide concentration in the soda is higher than the equilibrium concentration for the partial pressure of $$\ce{CO2}$$ in the atmosphere thus over time the soda will off-gas $$\ce{CO2}$$ and if allowed to sit long enough will become "flat".
The off-gassing is spontaneous but not instantaneous, thus it is subject to kinetic rates. To form a bubble, enough $$\ce{CO2}$$ molecules need to coalesce at one time to form a large enough bubble to be stable and not redissolved in the soda (nucleating).
When a rough surface is introduced, the number of $$\ce{CO2}$$ molecules that must come together to form a stable bubble is far less that the pure drink, so the off-gassing occurs much faster causing the observed "explosion".