We all know what happens when you mix Coca-Cola and Mentos breath mints together- yes, Coke will bubble and shoot up in the air. Now how about if someone harnessed this chemical reaction between the soda and the candy and used the explosive power to propel a car? Well, it won't solve the energy problem but it sure sounds like fun.
The experiment was performed by the same guys who brought us the sky-scraping Mentos/Coke geysers, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz. Their "innovative" three-wheeled vehicle was attached to a complicated PVC pipe crate holding 108 two-liter Coke Zero bottles and 648 Mentos tablets.
"The Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car uses a piston mechanism: a six-foot long rod sits inside a six-foot long tube attached to each bottle of Coke Zero. When the Mentos drop into the soda, the pressure tries to push the rod out of the tube. With 108 rods all pushing at once, that gives us a lot of power.
All that power is pushing against a wall braced with 3,600 pounds of cement blocks. So all the force is directed into moving the Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car forward. We get one big push for six feet, and then it's all coasting from there."
And while the Coke-Mentos-powered vehicle didn't exactly burn rubber, it managed to slowly cover a distance of 221 feet before running out of fizz. Watch the video in either 2D or 3D (special glasses needed - see third clip below...)