How To Make a Balloon Fly Without Helium? Holidays are joyful moments that everyone wants to share with their family and friends. And like any gathering worthy of the name, they require some preparations, such as setting up a buffet, decorating the place or inflating balloons, especially if it’s a birthday. So be aware that there is a trick with baking soda (NaHCO3) and vinegar (CH3COOH) to do it in the most economical way possible.
As you probably know, kids generally love balloons, but what they like more is helium-filled balloons. Why is that? This is the case for the simple reason that this transparent, odourless, and non-toxic gas has properties, including its very low density, that allow the balloons to rise easily and rise. they are all properties of the noble gases, the only small problem is that generally, helium balloons are nowhere near as good for the parents’ wallet.
Read more about Is Helium a Noble Gas
These balloons are indeed quite expensive, the time is looking for a much more interesting alternative from a budget point of view to obtain a similar result. Fortunately, it could be discovered and the Japanese are the first to have succeeded, so yes you can have the same thing for less. Find out how all this works and what you need.
How to Make a Balloon Fly Without Helium at Home
You’ll need to:
- 500 g baking soda (NaHCO3)
- 1 bottle measuring 2 litres
- 500 ml white vinegar (CH3COOH)
- 1 funnel
- Balloons in the colours you prefer
First of all, it is important to know that wearing goggles is necessary to proceed safely to follow the steps.
- Now that you have applied the safety measures, you can start pouring your vinegar into the bottle using the funnel you had previously set aside. Be careful, however, to fill only half of it.
- Then use the same funnel, but dry this time, to pour the baking soda into the balloon. Don’t try to inflate it.
- Attach the balloon to the mouthpiece on the ring of the bottle. While fixing, make sure that the baking soda does not seep into the container.
- Once it’s fixed, you can grab the tip of the deflated balloon and make the bicarbonate gradually fall into the vinegar.
- It is from there that the magic will begin to operate. Your balloon will start to swell and pick up the volume on its own!
- Once it has reached the size you want to get, start removing it from the bottle before attaching the tip as you would to any regular balloon.
The little secret behind this trick
If the balloon swells spontaneously as if by magic it is the result of a chemical reaction that triggers contact with the vinegar with baking soda. The meeting of these two agents generates an effervescence which in turn releases a gas called “carbon dioxide”, which causes the balloon to gain in volume and rise in the same way as if it had been inflated with helium.
Making your children happy is the goal of any good parent, but it’s always a simpler goal to achieve when it’s not expensive. So don’t hesitate to share this tip with you!
Chemical Reaction In Experiments How To Make a Balloon Fly Without Helium
Baking soda is an alkaline salt that will react with vinegar acid-producing sodium acetic salt and carbonic acid.
NaHCO3 (aq) + CH3COOH (aq) ⟶ CH3COONa (aq) + H2CO3 (aq)
Carbonic acid will soon decompose producing carbon dioxide gas and water.
H2CO3 (aq) ⟶ H2O (l) + CO2 (g)
CO2 gas is that causes the balloon to expand and can fly in the air.
Read more about Effects of Radon on Humans
Can We Make Helium?
It is not possible to make helium artificially. At the moment, it is a co-product of natural gas, and it is more or less abundant depending on the field. The Amarillo gas field in northern Texas makes the United States the leading producer of helium, with three-quarters of the world’s supply.
But the American plant is aging, as is the network of gas pipelines, built in the 1920s, to ensure the supply of military aviation. The facilities are being maintained, which has slowed down production. The world’s second-largest exporter is Algeria, where helium is produced during the liquefaction of natural gas.
But Algeria produces less of this natural gas, shipped by ship since Europe slowed down its gas consumption, which makes the quantities of Algerian helium fall by the same amount.