Experiments on the transformation of water into ice

Today we have a simple experiment for you to try at home, that will show you how to produce ice in just a few minutes!

Written Monday, by Emanuele Mortarotti

Welcome back to the blog managed and updated for you by Dispotech! Today we have a simple experiment for you to try at home, that will show you how to produce ice in just a few minutes! We got the idea from an article published on bbc.co.uk. Below is a list of all the necessary steps to recreate the supercooling phenomena!

 

What’s needed:

  • Two 1-litre bottles of water (preferably deionised water for car batteries, but also filtered-water will do)
  • A thermometer
  • A transparent bowl
  • Two basins
  • 8kg of ice cubes
  • 3kg of cooking salt
  • A towel

 

Experiment phases: (Note: The experiment can fail if a bottle is accidentally touched or bumped. To increase your chances of success, try placing the two bottles of deionized water into each of the two basins).

 

1.Place a bottle of deionized water into a basin and surround the base of the bottle with 3kg of ice cubes. Leave a few cubes aside in the freezer - they will be needed later. Pour 1.5kg of salt on the ice until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Repeat the process with the second bottle of water in the second basin.

 

2.Move away from the bottles while cooling is in progress, because even the smallest of "shocks" perceived by the bowl can begin the crystallisation process of the ice. Use a thermometer to gently check the water temperature. You will have to wait for it to reach -8°: it will take about 30 minutes.

 

3.Again, gently remove one of the two bottles from its bowl and check if the water is still liquid. Put it on a table, take the ice cubes that you have set aside in the freezer and pour them into a transparent bowl. At this point, gently pour the contents of the bottle into the bowl: you will see, with surprise, how the water will instantly turn into ice!

 

4.Now take the other bottle from the second basin. Gently clean the bottle with a towel. Then, holding the bottle firmly by the neck, give it a decisive blow on the table: you should be able to see, at this point, some ice forming downward from the neck of the bottle.

 

Why does salt freeze water faster?

When water and ice are mixed, some ice molecules melt and some molecules of  water freeze. When the temperature reaches 0°, the two processes are balanced, creating thedynamic equilibrium phenomena.

However, salt alters this balance - because the salt dissolves in water, but cannot interact with ice. Salt molecules begin to replace water molecules, thus there are fewer water molecules in the freezing phase compared to the number of ice molecules melting.

The water cools below 0°, consequently more molecules will freeze to reach the equilibrium again: this is why the more salt is added, the colder the frozen water becomes.

 

Try this experiment at home and let us know how it went, by contacting Dispotech, your disposable excellence!

 

Emanuele Mortarotti
Author Emanuele Mortarotti

Manager

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