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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

Lithium into 7 Up – Periodic Table of Videos

Brady and Neil thought it might be fun to try and add a piece of metallic Lithium to 7 Up The reason for this is that long ago 7 Up used to contain Lithium salts So they thought it’d be a bit of a joke They bought a bottle of 7 Up… this is not product placement and they poured some into a beaker and dropped in a piece of Lithium Of course it bubbled – partly the CO2 coming out of the fizzy drink, partly the hydrogen from the reaction But what was surprising was that the solution started to go pale green and then it went to reddish brown colour and by the time I went to the lab, (it) looked like beer The obvious first stage is Lithium metal reacts with water to form Lithium hydroxide which is an alkali That alkali might react further with the other components of 7 Up And if you read about it, it contains sugar, natural lemon and lime flavor, whatever that is, and it also contains “no caffeine” so there’s no caffeine chemistry here The first question is how would the acidity or alkalinity of the solution change So we measured the pH of fresh 7 Up which turned out to be slightly acidic, as you might expect, if you dissolved carbon dioxide into water And we measured the acidity of the 7 Up plus Lithium and again as expected it was pretty alkaline So a possible explanation for the colour is that it was produced by the alkaline conditions and the alkali was causing a reaction of the other components of the 7 Up Lithium salts are completely colourless. They’re all white just like table salt So the question is why is it going coloured and brown I suggested an experiment If it was the alkali, we should get a similar effect if we put Sodium Hydroxide, which is a strong alkali, into some 7 Up To begin with nothing happened Neil and Brady got quite excited “The Professor’s wrong!” You see, one up for them But then as we watched, the pellets of Sodium Hydroxide started developing a red colour almost as if they were bleeding It was really rather beautiful and the colour began to develop It was reacting slowly – much more slowly than the reaction that we saw with Lithium We noticed that the Lithium hydroxide one – the one that we put the lithium metal in – the solution was quite hot And Neil dipped a thermocouple into the Sodium Hydroxide plus 7 Up and found that the surface was nearly at room temperature but down where the colour was developing, it was quite warm – nearly 50 degrees You might say, “Why wasn’t it convecting?” Well of course the concentrated solution of Sodium Hydroxide is very dense so you get less convection than you would normally in water We added some more Sodium Hydroxide and the colour developed And so, the reason why temperature is important is because most reactions of organic compounds, like the sugars in the 7 Up, double their rate for each 10 degrees centigrade that you go up So if you go from room temperature, 20 to 30 to 40 to 50, the rate will go up about 8 times – doubling each time So that would explain the difference By this time, the Lithium beaker was looking pretty dark and you couldn’t really tell what colour it was So I suggested that we dilute it a bit into water So we got a beaker of water, not 7 Up, just pure water and added a little bit of the solution and it looked as of yellowy brown colour Suddenly I thought perhaps whatever coloured compound we’d made might be an indicator you know that changes colour when we go from acid to alkaline So Neil had some concentrated Sulfuric acid which is a bit fierce so he diluted that and we poured in the Sulfuric acid and much to my pleasure, it went completely colourless So whatever we made changed colour depending on the pH, depending on the acidity But then, I wondered what would happen if we added more alkali And when we added more alkali it changed back to colour Now of course there are 2 explanations The first one is we may have created an indicator out of 7 Up The other explanation is that whatever was reacting in the 7 Up, there was still some in the water and that reacted with the alkali again So you can’t be absolutely sure what happended in the final stage but it seemed to behave like an indicator When we put in more alkali, it could be that that compound changed back or, it could be that there was still sugar in the solution and we just made more of the starting compound And you can’t really tell the difference without more careful experiments [Coke in Liquid Nitrogen] Looked like an artwork and I persuaded Brady and Neil that we should watch it melting

100 thoughts on “Lithium into 7 Up – Periodic Table of Videos

  1. May I propose that the mono saccarides like glucose and fructose are reacting with copper in the soda under theses conditions similar to Benedict solution for reducing sugars. Copper is present in carbonated beverages at levels you would be surprised the reaction on heating provides this red color

  2. The alkalinity of the solution turns sugar into sugar couleur which, in turn, is the colouring agent used in Coke and Pepsi.

    The initial green colour comes from the ethereal lime oil when treated with alkali.

    Happy to help, food chemist and all. 😀

  3. As soon as I seen that hair I knew this guy was science, crazy or both a crazy scientist. My theory is crazy scientist.

  4. Ideally you would do the same test on each component of the 7 up ingredients list. Eg you probably have sugar hydrolysis in alkaline conditions, and maybe some reaction of the aromatic flavour compounds. If not a oregano-lithium product then probably you have some aromatic reaction. Check with UVF and Perhaps FTIR.

  5. Could the increase in temperature have an effect on the changing of color? Like perhaps the sugar could've been burnt while the reaction took place? At least with the lithium?

  6. What was the lithium salt used in the original recipe of 7up? If it was lithium carbonate I bet it was beneficial for people with bipolar disorder.

  7. Try adding Salt Peter with Brown Sugar And Sulphur Together equal amounts . Light it with a match . See what happens

  8. 4:10 "reaction rates double in organic chemistry for every 10°C the temp is increased"… Is there a name for this "rule"?

  9. Natural flavor is acetone, benzene, methyl ethyl ketone or another natural solvent that has had the natural thing soaked in it from which you want the flavor. IE: Soak a strawberry in acetone. Remove strawberry. The acetone is now natural strawberry flavoring. Now you also know why flavorings don't taste like the product from which they came.

  10. I know what causes the dark color, since I am working on the development of novel fuel cell types that don’t require any metal bases catalysts (not even MOFs) I had to find possible new fuel candidates that are more easily oxidized, within sugar (I used a D-(+)-Glucose and D-(-)-fructose racemic mix) and as soon as I added sodium hydroxide to the mix it turned extremely brown-ish, exactly like your energy drink type stuff (sugar concentration 30%w/w).

    When subjected to air or any other oxidizing agent it turned almost black.

    Also it seems to react in different ph environment just like yours. Maybe give it a try?

  11. "so we added sulphuric acid…." Wait hold on a second, you are telling me that 7up used to have lithium?!!!!! I have only one question…WHY? Lemonade has lithium? The Romans used to add lithium to citrus drinks for a nice punch? Or was it some random guy at the factory going…hey you know what be cool to do? Just toss this huge chunk of Lithium on the juice to see what happens! Yey!

  12. So … who got a bit of the lithium infused 7 up and a shot of Seagrams 7 … to get a super duper super buzz without the fuzz.

  13. Sodium hydroxide is lye.
    You can make it from electrolysis.
    Potassium hydroxide can be made from wood ash and distilled water, both highly caustic.

  14. It's not what soda does to your body, it's what lithium, and other strange lithium based antidepressant drugs do to your body… and your mind…

  15. How much electricity would that produce having a wire with a nickel plate and the other clamped to the lithium in 6 glass jars???

  16. Why didn't anybody consider or address the possibility that the sugars were caramelized by the heat from the reaction? Did they somehow miss that possibility, or do they know something that makes such a thing impossible or extremely unlikely?

  17. Lithium is the same stuff they give people for bipolar is that the same stuff they were putting in the soda

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