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How to make smoke come out of a homemade volcano

The eruptions of volcanoes are associated with the emission of lava and gases, both characteristic aspects of any active volcano. Therefore, if you want to give a certain realism to a homemade volcano model, you must simulate this gas emission in some way. Let’s see how to do it.

Cumbre Vieja Volcano The Cumbre Vieja volcano (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain). It erupted in October 2021.

Building a homemade volcano model is basically a cone made of some material, which is then colored to give the impression of a mountain. In the central part of the cone, a space must be left to place the products that will generate the smoke and products that simulate the gaseous emissions and the eruption of the volcano. This space can be achieved with a glass container that occupies the height of the model, as shown in the figure below. The emission of gases can be simulated with dry ice and the eruption with the chemical reaction generated by the combination of sodium bicarbonate and vinegar, or yeast and oxygen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide). You will also need hot water and tongs or gloves to handle the materials.

volcano model. volcano model.

Dry ice will give the image of smoke emerging from the model. Small pieces of dry ice are placed in the glass container, and then hot water is added. This will cause the dry ice to sublime, turning from solid carbon dioxide into carbon dioxide gas. The gas is much colder than the surrounding air, so it will cause water vapor to condense into fog that looks like smoke. Dry ice is very cold and can cause skin burns if handled without protective gear; therefore, it is necessary to use gloves or tongs to handle the dry ice.

then you can simulate the eruption of the volcano by adding the appropriate elements to the container, taking care to add them in the correct order to avoid accidents. In the event that the combination of vinegar and baking soda is chosen, you must first add the baking soda to the glass container, and then the vinegar. If the combination is yeast and oxygen peroxide, first put the yeast in the glass container and then the hydrogen peroxide.


Safety in the handling and use of dry ice . Accessed November 2021.