Lowering the freezing point of water

Ask questions about projects relating to: biology, biochemistry, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology/toxicology, zoology, human behavior, archeology, anthropology, political science, sociology, geology, environmental science, oceanography, seismology, weather, or atmosphere.

Moderators: MelissaB, kgudger, Ray Trent, Moderators

Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby nancychocolate35 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:33 pm

What type of information should i use if i am doing a project about lowering the freezing point of water
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:19 pm
Occupation: student
Project Question: freezing point deppression
Project Due Date: october 31
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby sk1 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:28 pm

Hi nancychocolate35,

It's great that you are starting research so early!

The first thing you need to learn about is learn about freezing point depression (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hb ... eltpt.html). Freezing point depression is what occurs when you add a salt to a liquid. A common life example of this is throwing salt on ice or snow in the winter to melt the ice or snow. The action of putting salt on ice lowers the freezing point, which means that the ice will melt at lower temperatures. You could perhaps do a project on whether certain types of salts change the depression.

Hope that helps!

Former Expert
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:00 pm
Occupation: Student
Project Question: N/A
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby lilyc » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:41 pm

Hi Nancychocolate,
One term you will probably come across in your research is "colligative properties (of solutions)," and as Sk1 mentioned in the above post, freezing point depression and boiling point elevation are two of these properties. If you're not familiar with what a solution is, here is somewhere you can begin:

After that, maybe you can think about how you would like to design your experiment so that you can clearly test the effects of, for example, dissolving salt (what amount? At what temperature?) in water on its freezing point and boiling point.

I hope this helps!
Feel free to ask any more questions you may have!
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:04 pm
Occupation: Student
Project Question: N/A
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: Not applicable

Re: Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby heatherL » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:22 pm

Hi Nancy,

This is a great project idea! The other experts have already given you some excellent advice, and I just wanted to add some ideas to think about. Using salt on roads is one example of ways to apply your topic idea to real life. Another one is radiator fluid in cars. It is meant to keep the engine from freezing AND from overheating, because adding something to water lowers the freezing point AND raises the boiling point. You may try different concentrations of the same salt to see the effect on water's freezing point, or you could try the same concentration of different substances. Either way, you will have an interesting experiment!

Let us know if you have any more questions.

Posts: 886
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:59 pm
Occupation: Professor
Project Question: How do different animals adapt to their environment?
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: Not applicable

Re: Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby Threepointhoopster25 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:20 am

For this project, I am trying to figure out what ions are. I have no clue and I am an eighth grader. Please help me! My RoL is due tomoorrow!

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:32 am
Occupation: Student: Grade 8
Project Question: I need help understanding molality.
Project Due Date: January 2, 2012
Project Status: I am finished with my experiment and analyzing the data

Re: Lowering the freezing point of water

Postby Megara7 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:25 pm

Ions are formed when atoms of an element gain or loose electrons (which depends on their electronegativity (how badly they want to gain an electron)). Atoms want to gain or loose electrons because they want to become stable. The definition of stable (for almost all atoms) is to have 8 valence electrons, or 8 electrons in it's outermost shell (quick fact: the noble gases (as shown below) already are stable (have 8 valence electrons), so they don't need to react (bond with another element) to become stable). Take for example, table salt. It's chemical formula is NaCl (Sodium chloride). It's made up of 1 Sodium atom and 1 Chlorine atom. They are bonded together through an ionic bond (one gives an electron to the other). The atom that gains an electron is the one that wants it the most (the one with a higher electronegativity). Chlorine has an electronegativity of 3.16 and Sodium has an electronegativity of 0.93, so Chlorine wants to gain an electron more than sodium, so chlorine gains the electron. Since electrons have a negative charge, chlorine becomes more negative (because it gains a negative thing), and since sodium looses a negative thing, it becomes more positive. Since opposites attract, the negative chlorine attracts to the positive sodium, forming a loose bond. When mixed in water, the sodium and chlorine are more attracted to the parts of water molecules, so the break apart, or disassociate. Since they split apart, you have two differently charged elements floating around, and these are ions (ions occur in other places too; this is just one example). The positively charged one is a cation (sodium) and the negatively charged ion is an anion (chlorine). So, ions are elements with charge (not atoms with a charge, because 'atom' implies that it's neutral, not positive or negative).

“Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”
— The Eleventh Doctor
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:06 pm
Occupation: Student: 11th grade
Project Question: n/a
Project Due Date: n/a
Project Status: Not applicable

Return to Grades 6-8: Life, Earth, and Social Sciences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest