The Chemistry of Airborne Effervescent Tablets


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Airborne Effervescent Tablets are an immune system support tablet containing vitamins, herbs, and amino acids. I chose Airborne because I am constantly getting sick, and Airborne gives my immune system a boost. Also it makes the common cold go away faster, and I was very curious to how it worked.

Composition of ...

The composition of Airborne is a combination of key vitamins, herbs, amino acids, and two very important Bicarbonates. The key vitamins in Airborne are Vitamin A (as Retinyl Acetate),Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin E ( as Di-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate). It also contains Riboflavin, Magnesium (as Oxide & Sulfate), Zinc (as Sulfate), Selenium (as Chelate) Manganese (as Gluconate), Sodium (as Bicarbonate), Potassium (as Bicarbonate). Airborne also has a herbal extract blend and two amino acids. The amino acids are Glutamine (as L-Glutamine) and Lysine (as L-Lysine HCL).

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components
Airborne Effervescent Tablets are composed of many naturally occurring chemicals and compounds. All of the vitamins in Airborne can be found in a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. The two main components in Airborne are Sodium Bicarbonate and Potassium Bicarbonate. These two components are bases, and without them the tablets would not have a reaction when added to water.

Chemistry's Role

Airborne is an Effervescent, Effervescent tablets  are designed to break down quickly when they are combined with water. This process releases CO2, the process is known as Carbonation. It involves CO2 under a high pressure, when water is added the pressure is reduced and the CO2 is released creating bubbles or fizz. The Tablet is a made of ingredients that are compressed into a dense mass, which is stored in an airtight container. Chemistry plays a huge roll in Airborne Effervescents without it we would not know about carbonization,and carbonation plays a key role in releasing the vitamins,herbs, and amino acids into the solution. Acids and bases in the tablet produce the CO2, citric acid is the most common. Sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate are the bases used in airborne to produce CO2 and have the tablet disintegrate. The tablets also have a binder to make it possible to handle, these include dextrose, sorbitol,xylitol, and lactose.The chemical reaction is  formed between sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, this type of acid base reaction has been used for many years to produce pharmaceutical effervescents.The chemical reaction is 3 NaHCO3(aq) + H3C6H5O7(aq) to form 3H2O +CO2+3Na3C6H5O7

Background Research

Airborne was created by Victoria Knight-McDow a second grade school teacher who constantly suffered from colds because of her students. Airborne is made by compressing a fine powder of vitamins, herbs, and amino acids with a binder made of Dextrose,Sorbitol, Xylitol,and lactose. The binder makes the tablet hard enough to handle but still soft enough to break down rapidly. Airborne is an effervescent so when water is added it has an acid base reaction releasing CO2 and forming a solution of vitamins,herbs, and amino acids.


About the Author

Kane is a junior at Billings Senior High School. He Enjoys snowboarding during the winter at Red Lodge Mountain Resort, and spends most of his other time skateboarding around Billings.He is a Call Of Duty zombies enthusiast, and plans to attend Montana State University to pursue a career in Industrial Engineering.