Citric Acid Experiments

••• Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images

Citric acid can be used in many science experiments. These experiments are usually safe for children and teenagers of all ages to do with adult supervision and end up being a lot of fun. Citric acid can be used to show the separation of milk particles, make fizzy drinks and liquids, and make a miniature rocket.

Separation of Milk Particles

Citric acid can be used in an experiment that demonstrates that milk is made of particles that are suspended in water. A small list of materials are required and include skim milk, citric acid (vinegar can be used as well), a coffee filter and a funnel. A hot plate can also be used, but this is optional. To create a 50/50 composition, the skim milk is diluted with water. Citric acid will create small white particles in the milk large enough to filter out. Heat will make the particles easier to filter. This experiment can also be done with whole milk.

Lemon Fizz

The lemon fizz experiment is a fun experiment for kids that uses common kitchen items. For the experiment, you’ll need baking soda, lemon juice or a lemon cut into quarters, liquid hand dishwashing soap, a narrow glass or cup, and a straw or spoon. Food coloring can be used to make it more fun, but is optional. The ingredients are mixed together a certain way, which causes the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda to react with the citric acid in the lemon juice. This forms carbon dioxide gas, which creates fizzy bubbles. The end result is not safe to drink, but works well for washing dishes.

Rocket Project

This experiment demonstrates how citric acid and baking soda can make a homemade rocket. This type of project should be completed under the supervision of adults. Vinegar and baking soda will also work. This experiment should be conducted outside, because the end result makes a big mess. To complete this experiment, you’ll need a small translucent plastic film canister, baking soda and citric acid crystals. Baking soda and citric acid crystals are put into the film canister along with a few drops of water. The lid is quickly and securely put on the canister and everyone stands back. After a short time, the lid will blow off the canister.

Fizzy Drinks

Food-grade citric acid crystals, baking soda and icing sugar are mixed together in this experiment. When the mixture is added to drinks, it transforms them into a fizzy drink. Two teaspoons of the fizz mixture are put into the bottom of a glass and a still drink is added to the glass. The citric acid reacts with the baking soda, forming carbon dioxide gas, creating a fizzy drink (similar to the lemon fizz soap experiment discussed in Section 2). By adding the mixture to various drinks, you can determine which drink is most acidic (by measuring which drink fizzes the most).


About the Author

Tony Ehrike has been writing and editing professionally since 2005 as an online freelance writer. He has worked as a business manager and administrative and advertising agent since 2006. Ehrike has been published in "News Health Weekly," "Handyman Magazine" and "Reader's Digest." He has taken creative writing classes at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

  • Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images