I sort of know how carbonated beverages are carbonated: a lot of $ceCO2$ gets pushed into the liquid, and the container is sealed. There are at least two things I don"t know. First, how much carbon dioxide is actually dissolved in the liquid? Second, what is the resulitng partial pressure of $ceCO2$ in the headspace and the total pressure in the headspace? I"m interested in cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles. I know from experience that there is some variation among manufacturers even for the same beverage, so I will be happy with general numbers or a good estimate.

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asked Mar 9 "14 at 20:03

Colin McFaulColin McFaul
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Acti have Oldesns Votes
General estimates have placed a can of Coca-Cola to have 2.2 grams of $ceCO2 $ in a single can. As a can is around 12 fluid ounces, or 355 ml, the amount of $ceCO2$ in a can is:

$$ ext2.2 g ceCO2* frac ext1 mol ceCO2 ext44 g ceCO2 = 0.05 extmol$$

$$ ext355 mL * frac ext1 L ext1000 mL = 0.355 extL $$

So here we can see we have about 0.05 mol/0.355 L or about 0.14 mol of carbon dioxide per liter of soda. Of course this value varies by manufacturer, type of drink, container, etc.

Looking at Wikipedia, inside Coca-Cola is:

Carbonated water, Sugar (sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup depending on country of origin), Caffeine, Phosphoric acid, Caramel color (E150d), Natural flavorings

A can of Coke (12 fl ounces/355 ml) has 39 grams of carbohydrates (all from sugar, approximately 10 teaspoons), 50 mg of sodium, 0 grams fat, 0 grams potassium, and 140 calories.

Thus, we can calculate the pressure of $CO_2$ gas using the Ideal Gas equation if we store our coke at, say, 20 Celsius:

$$ P = fracnRTV $$$$ P = frac ext0.05 mol * ext0.08206 frac extL cdot extatm extmol cdot extK * ext293.15 K ext0.355 L$$$$ P = 3.39 extatm $$

According to this website, http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/SeemaMeraj.shtml:

On average, the 12 ounce soda cans sold in the US tend to have a pressure of roughly 120 kPa when canned at 4 °C, and 250 kPa when stored at 20 °C.

$$ ext3.39 atm * frac ext760 torr ext1 atm * frac ext133 Pa ext1 torr * frac ext1 kPa ext1000 Pa = 342.66 extkPa$$

Water vapor exerts it"s own partial pressure. Looking at standard tabulated values for water vapor pressure, water exerts a pressure of 17.5 torr at 20 Celsius.

$$ ext17.5 torr* frac ext133 Pa ext1 torr * frac ext1 kPa ext1000 Pa = 2.3275 extkPa $$

Knowing that our total pressure is the sum of all our pressures:

$$P_total = ext342.66 kPa + ext2.3275 kPa = 344.99 extkPa$$

Here, we are roughly about 100 kPa off from the data provided by the website. This is just an approximation. A more accurate way would be to calculate the moles of each product inside the soda, and knowing the total pressure or partial pressure of one of the parts, we can calculate the pressures more accurately. However, that information is proprietary. It"s their secret recipe!



We have to determine the volume of the headspace - again, I am not sure of exact data - which is between 1/2 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches depending on the container and what it holds. I will assume that the headpsace occupies 6% of the total volume of the can which is 21.3 mL.

At manufacturing and at storage, the can is at different temperatures. Taking the above data, we"ll say it is manufactured at $4^circ C$ and say, stored at $20^circ C$

Furthermore, when carbon dioxide is solubilized in water, it forms carbonic acid. I will neglect that as the ionization constant is small.

Assuming our 2.2 grams of carbon dioxide is the maximum amount of carbon dioxide that can be placed inside, some of the carbon dioxide is soluble in water while the rest exerts pressure inside the headspace to force the carbon dioxide inside the liquid. The pressure is necessary inside this closed volume as, once you open the cap, the carbon dioxide tries to achieve equilibrium.

$$ ceCO_2 (solution) CO2 (g) $$

In general, the solubility of gases increases at lower temperatures and decreases at higher temperatures. A notable exception is the noble gases. In regards to pressure, Henry"s law states that the solubility of a gas in a liquid is directly proportional to the pressure of that gas above the surface of the solution.

The solubility of carbon dioxide in water shifts according to Le Chatlier"s principle.

For the solution to this problem, we would need to know several things about the manufacturing of soda"s, or rather, more quantitative data. At manufacturing, the pressure is high and temperature low, so as much carbon dioxide as possible is solubilized in the water.

See more: How Many Oz Are In 5 Gallons To Oz, How Many Ounces Are In 5 Gallons

Once shipped out and stored, the pressure inside the headspace increases as the pressure is decreased from manufacturing, the carbon dioxide then leaves solution and enters the headspace. Increasing temperature also decreases solubility.

If you can provide me with more information, I will be more than happy to help. :)