Carbonation is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in liquid. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which causes the solution to "fizz". This effect is seen in carbonated soft drinks.
Carbon dioxide is weakly soluble in water, therefore it separates into a gas when the pressure is released.
Carbonation also describes the incorporation of carbon dioxide into chemical compounds. Our carbon-based life originates from a carbonation reaction that is most often catalysed by the enzyme RuBisCO. So important is this carbonation process that a significant fraction of leaf mass consists of this carbonating enzyme.
See also 
- Stryer, Lubert; Berg, JeremyMark; Tymoczko, John L. Biochemistry, 5th Ed. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, 2002. ISBN 0-7167-3051-0
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- Carbonation and Acidity
- Dissolution of Marble in Hydrochloric Acid Demonstration (instruction and video)
- Whirlpools in a soda pop Explains why a shaken soda bottle will spray soda when opened.
- Robert O'Leary. "ATR Infrared Spectroscopy method for measuring CO2 concentration in Beer". Describes in detail the theory and practice of measuring dissolved CO2 content in soft drinks and beer.