how to make hot ice

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how to make hot ice

Postby smilin66 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:35 pm

I am helping my son with his science project....how to make hot ice. He has researched the topic on the internet and watched videos. We have tried the home made version, vinegar and baking soda and could not get it to work. I purchased lab quality sodium acetate trihydrate online in hopes that this would work. Only one time have we been able to get it to work...and it only partially worked. He really wants to get this to work. I have tried different cooling times and different ratios of sodium acetate but nothing works. Any advice?? Also...his teacher requires a BOOK that has information on his subject. He searched online and found nothing. The librarian could not come up with anything...she searched all thinkable terms. Can you point us in the right direction on this? Thank you, Kelly
smilin66
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 am
Occupation: student 6th grade
Project Question: Can you make hot ice?
Project Due Date: February 2, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: how to make hot ice

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi,

First, I need to know exactly what experiment you are doing. Are you doing a project like this?

http://www.ehow.com/how_2245735_hot-ice ... etate.html

This experiment is an example of a supersaturated solution that crystallizes instantly once it is cooled. The key to making a saturated solution is to dissolve sodium acetate in the hot water until the water will not hold any more. If all of the solid sodium acetate dissolves and the solution is clear, you need to add more sodium acetate until there is a small amount of insoluble salt remaining. You then decant the dissolved solution into a glass or clear container and cool it until the next step. If your solution is not crystallizing, you probably did not make a supersaturated solution. You can reuse the sodium acetate, but use a small volume of water this time.

If that explanation does not help, then please describe exactly what your son did in his experiment and what you mean by “partially work.”

I like your son’s teacher. She wants him to find a scientific reference for the topic.

Here is a web definition for a saturated and supersaturated solution:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturation_(chemistry)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersaturation

Here’s a scientific reference on the topic of supersaturation of sodium acetate, which includes a reference to a 1937 Chemistry Book. This website provides a good explanation of the science behind your son’s project, which he should include in the background section of his board.

http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/demos/dem ... /15.2.html

I would recommend going to the library and looking up any general chemistry textbook and looking up saturated and supersaturated. This will be a good reference for this science project.

Please let me know if you need any more help on this project.


Donna Hardy
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Re: how to make hot ice

Postby smilin66 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:15 am

Thank you for responding. Yes, the ehow website you listed is the project he is doing. What I mean by partially work is that I get a small amount of freezing. One site he found, the kids used 20 ml water and 4 tsp sodium acetate. So we did that. We warmed it on the stove and put it in the fridge. Nothing. I tiried it again using more water and more sodium acetate. It got to the point where when it was in the fridge it would start crystalizing on the top of the solution, but underneath would still be liquid. We've tried cooling it a little, and cooling it a lot, but nothing. Once I cool it, it looks like there's to much sodium acetate, because it gets thick and chunky as it cools. I left it on the counter and the rest ended up freezing. On the homemade version, basically the same thing. The vinegar and baking soda fized and gave the volcano effect, but I could never get it to freeze. It's rather aggravating...youtube has all these kids doing it and we can't. When I say partially work I mean that I get some freezing on the top of the mixture and some freezing within the cup, but not the way the expirement is suppose to be. I cannot get the ice effect that everyone else gets. I may need to find a chemistry student by me and see if they can shed some light. Ugh. Thank you for helping me through this.
smilin66
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 am
Occupation: student 6th grade
Project Question: Can you make hot ice?
Project Due Date: February 2, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: how to make hot ice

Postby smilin66 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:04 am

Donna,
Last edited by smilin66 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
smilin66
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 am
Occupation: student 6th grade
Project Question: Can you make hot ice?
Project Due Date: February 2, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: how to make hot ice

Postby smilin66 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:25 am

We just tried it again. It still doesn't work. The solution begins to crystalize in the fridge. It's like looking at an ice cube that is just beginning to freeze. A little icy at the bottom, a little icy in the middle and the top is a little icy, but none of it gets solid like it is suppose to. If I leave it in the fridge longer, it just does the same thing. It will not actually "freeze" the way it's suppose to when you touch it. I don't know what his teacher will do if it turns out the expirement does not work for him..because there is evidence that it actually does work, only not for us. Any advice??
smilin66
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 am
Occupation: student 6th grade
Project Question: Can you make hot ice?
Project Due Date: February 2, 2011
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: how to make hot ice

Postby donnahardy2 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:49 pm

Crystallization projects are never as easy to do as they look. Here are some suggestions that may help:

1. Did you make a supersaturated solution the first time or two? This means heating the sodium acetate until the water would not hold any more solid, and then decanting the liquid away from the solid crystals? Your description of the trial with liquid on the bottom suggests that you really didn’t have a supersaturated solution.
2. Did the sodium acetate solution sit undisturbed until you initiated the crystallization with a seed crystal of sodium acetate?

3. Your latest description sounds like you do have a supersaturated solution, but there may be small particles in the sodium acetate solution that are acting as a nucleus for the crystallization. If you have more than one point where the crystallization starts, you won’t get the glass effect. You would need to heat the solution and use a coffee filter or other fine filter to try and remove the particles (they may be microscopic) that are causing the premature crystallization.

http://www.chemistry.co.nz/crystals_forming.htm
4. If there were any contaminants in the sodium acetate, this could have caused interference with the formation of the crystal structure. What was the purity of the sodium acetate? Could any fat or oil (fingerprints) have been in the sample? This would interfere with crystallization.

You have tried multiple times, and the experiment is not working as you expect, however, this is a complete project, so you should write it up and present the results. A project that includes all sections of a science project is as acceptable as one that has perfect results:

http://sciencebuddies.org/science-fair- ... oard.shtml

Be sure to include an explanation of crystallization in the background information, and an explanation of why you didn’t get the glass effect for the results. You should also include what you would do differently next time, if you had time to do another experiment.

Donna Hardy
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