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I feel like I know this word, but I can't think of it.

Here's the setting. I worked in the school's lab, where I was creating an ester from methane acid + methanol, and I dropped some sulfuric acid into the reaction tube, which made the contents bubble and kind of lightly erupt from the tube. Erupt is not the right word because it implies much more volatility than what the eruption really was.

This spillage was somewhere in between a gentle bubble over and volatile eruption. It was kind of like a few pulses of the liquid popping out of the tube, but not all of it erupting out.

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  • What is "methane acid"? Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 20:53
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    @MichaelHarvey methane acid is just a lazy way of saying formic acid, the latter being the preferred IUPAC name. The systematic IUPAC name however, is methanoic acid.
    – A. Kvåle
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 21:32
  • I would say some of the liquid spurted from the tube.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 18:21

2 Answers 2

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A phrase for this would be to bubble over. This describes when a liquid bubbles up and spills over the sides of its container, like when a pot of boiling water is left on for too long. This could occur due to a physical or chemical reaction, and describes a relatively gentle overflow of a bubbling liquid, which would be less energetic than an "eruption".

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  • Good answer but this spillage was somewhere in between a gentle bubble over and volatile eruption. It was kind of like a few pulses of the liquid popping out of the tube, but not all of it erupting out.
    – A. Kvåle
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 16:36
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    @A.Kvåle So now it's clear that you need more than bubble over and less than volatile eruption. In a single word. Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 16:42
  • Send us a video! A picture is worth a thousand words. Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 16:47
  • Seriously though, we don't know whether this is froth that remained for while, mere bubbles that burst and disappeared immediately or a new version of Aerographite that you have invented and that persists as a solid. Why not just say, "gently erupted"? Or "frothed out" Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 17:00
  • Unfortunately, the person who videotaped the reaction is currently unavailable. How would one feature a video in a stack exchange post though? @chasly-supportsMonica
    – A. Kvåle
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 20:18
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My chemistry teacher often used to adumbrate a test-tube chemical reaction with the word effervescence.

the property of forming bubbles : the action or process of effervescing

In accordance to the comments on Nuclear Hoagie's reply, I suppose 'ooze out' would befit a reaction which is between that of bubbling out and erupting.

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