How to Measure Carbonation Levels

The carbonation levels in soda can be measured with different experiments.
••• Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Carbon dioxide gas or CO2 is contained under pressure in a can or bottle to form carbonated beverages. The carbonation is responsible for the fizz in the drink and provides its unique sensation. Carbon dioxide dissolves in the liquid and is released when the bottle or can is opened -- which is when the fizz becomes visible. Various kinds of sodas are able to contain different quantities of carbonation. There are a couple of experiments that can measure the level of carbonation in a drink.

Balloon Test

    Fit the opening of a balloon over the filled soda or carbonated beverage bottle

    Shake up the bottle and allow the fizz to escape and fill up the balloon.

    Complete this method for each type of beverage you would like to test to see which one produces the most fizz. Make sure you use the same size balloons for each test, or the results will be inaccurate.

    Take measurements of all the balloons with a tape measure or ruler. The largest balloon contains the beverage that produces the most fizz.

Volume Displacement Test

    Attach a tube to the top of a spray bottle filled with a carbonated beverage or soda.

    Fill a graduated cylinder with water. Fill a bathtub or plastic tub with water, at least a few inches deep. Insert the other end of the tube from the spray bottle into the graduated cylinder. Carefully invert the cylinder, using your hand to prevent the water coming out, and place it upside-down in the tub. Measure the height of the liquid remaining in the cylinder.

    Firmly shake the spray bottle. The gas will bubble up and displace the liquid in the graduated cylinder. Firmly hold the tube and the cylinder together. Shake the bottle once more to make sure all the carbonation is gone from the liquid. Stop shaking the bottle when no more bubbles come out.

    Calculate the volume of gas that was released by measuring the height of the water that remains in the cylinder, and subtracting this from the initial height that you measured in step 2.

    Things You'll Need

    • Soda bottle or carbonated beverage
    • Balloon
    • Measuring tape
    • Rubber tubing
    • 500 ml spray bottle or any bottle you can easily attach tubing to
    • 3/16 in. I.D. Tygon tubing (or any rubber tubing that fits on a bottle)
    • 1000 ml graduated cylinder (plastic) or another suitable container
    • Plastic tub
    • Water
    • Paper
    • Pencil


    • Avoid tipping the bottle upside down or this could cause inaccurate results.

Related Articles

Sciencing at Home: How to Turn Everyday Objects Into...
How to Measure Carbonation in Soft Drinks for a Science...
How to Make a Tornado in a Bottle Using Dishwashing...
How to Make an Eyedropper Syringe
Experiments on How to Compare Carbonation in Soft Drinks
How to Make Foam
Science Fair Project on the Effect of Soda on the Body
How to Build a Model Tornado
How to Make a Whirlpool Science Project
Is Carbonation Affected by the Temperature?
Fun Chemistry Experiments for High Schools
How to Make a Homemade Submarine That Floats & Sinks
Easy Home Experiments Using Gas Laws
Glass Barometer Filling Instructions
How to Make Water Vapor Come Out of Your Mouth
How to Make Lucas Reagent
How to Make Easy Dry Ice
Girly Science Fair Project Ideas
How to Fix MLA Pipettes
How to Explain the Process of Condensation
Cool 8th Grade Science Experiments