Effervescence can be observed in the bubbles or foam produced by the combination of hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate (e.g. limestone, marble, antacid tablets, etc.) as well as in the escaping bubbles of freshly opened carbonated beverages (such as soft drinks, beer, and champagne). The visible bubbles released at decompression are usually dissolved gaseous carbon dioxide escaping from a pressurized dilute solution of carbonic acid in water. The gas is not visible while dissolved in the liquid.
- CaCO3 + 2 HCl → CaCl2 + H2O + CO2
- H2CO3 → H2O + CO2
Although CO2 is most common for beverages, nitrogen gas is sometimes deliberately added to certain draught beers. The smaller bubble size creates a smoother beer head. Kegs or widgets are used due to the poor solubility of nitrogen in beer.
The tingling sensation on the back of your throat while enjoying a carbonated beverage is actually caused by the carbonic acid and not the bubbles themselves.
Effervescent tablet manufacturer Alka-Seltzer popularized the chemical reaction with their hit advertising jingle "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!"
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- Baxter, E. Denise; Hughes, Paul S. (2001). Beer: Quality, Safety and Nutritional Aspects. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 22. ISBN 9780854045884.
- G. Liger-Belair et al., "Study of Effervescence in a Glass of Champagne: Frequencies of Bubble Formation, Growth Rates, and Velocities of Rising Bubbles", American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 50:3 (1999) 317–323