Hot Ice

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However, because liquids are boiled, adult supervision is recommended. This project is best for middle school and above. In a saucepan or large beaker, add baking soda to the vinegar, a little at a time and stirring between additions. The baking soda and vinegar react to form sodium acetate and carbon dioxide gas.


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If you don't add the baking soda slowly, you'll essentially get a baking soda and vinegar volcano , which would overflow your container. You've made the sodium acetate, but it is too dilute to be very useful, so you need to remove most of the water. You could just remove the solution from heat once you have ml of solution remaining, but the easiest way to get good results is to simply boil the solution until a crystal skin or film starts to form on the surface. This took me about an hour on the stove over medium heat. If you use lower heat you are less likely to get yellow or brown liquid, but it will take longer.

If discoloration occurs, it's okay. Once you remove the sodium acetate solution from heat, immediately cover it to prevent any further evaporation. I poured my solution into a separate container and covered it with plastic wrap. You should not have any crystals in your solution. If you do have crystals, stir a very small amount of water or vinegar into the solution, just sufficient to dissolve the crystals. Place the covered container of sodium acetate solution in the refrigerator to chill.

It's a good idea to add 1 or 2 tablespoons 15—30 mL of vinegar. The vinegar will help keep the solution in its aqueous state, instead of forming that crust again.

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Chill the container in an ice bath. Wait until the container of sodium acetate cools to room temperature or lower. This should take about 15 minutes in a bowl of ice water, or longer in the fridge. The goal is to "super-cool" the sodium acetate trihydrate. This means it will drop below its freezing temperature, but still remain liquid.

Hot ice (disambiguation) - Wikipedia

If the liquid freezes during this stage, there might be a solid piece of crystal in it, or some other impurity. Add more vinegar, return to the stovetop, and try again. This is a difficult process, so it's rare that you'll get it on your first try.


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Add a bit of crystallized sodium acetate to your aqueous solution. Use the powder scrapings you removed from the pot while you were boiling down the solution. Start with a small pinch or two; if they have no effect, add more. Watch your hot ice form. Since the sodium acetate is already super-cooled and ready to freeze, this should set off a rapid chain reaction, freezing the entire solution. This releases heat, which you can easily feel if you put your hands near the container.

If this does not happen, there is a problem with your solution. Add more vinegar and boil again — or try the more reliable store-bought method below. Method 2. Find sodium acetate trihydrate.

Awesome Science Experiment: Make Hot Ice with Baking Soda and Vinegar

You may be able to take it from a squeeze-activated warming pad instead. Sodium acetate is also sold as "sodium acetate anhydrous," and some vendors do not specify which form they mean. The instructions below cover both forms. Place in a boiling water bath. Place the sodium acetate in a steel or Pyrex container, then place that container in a pot of boiling water. It should melt to pure liquid sodium acetate trihydrate, or "hot ice. To turn it into sodium acetate trihydrate, add hot water while it's still in the boiling water bath.

It will take about 2 mL water for every 3 grams of sodium acetate to fully dissolve the substance. Don't use all of your sodium acetate.

You'll need a little for later. Chill immediately. Transfer to a clean container, cover, and place in an ice bath or fridge until it reaches room temperature or below. Touch the cool solution with solid sodium acetate. The solid crystal is a nucleation point, meaning it allows the other sodium acetate molecules to stick around it and expand into a crystal form. Soon the whole container should look like a block of ice — except it's radiating heat! Other impurities can trigger the freezing if they happen to be the right shape.

This means you can sometimes trigger it by touching it with a toothpick or your finger, but solid sodium acetate is the only reliable way.

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Meredith Juncker. The first conclusion you can draw is sodium acetate exists in a supercooled liquid form below its usual freezing point. This is why the solution is capable of cooling to room temperature without forming crystals. The second conclusion is supersaturated solutions release heat upon crystallization exothermic bond formation , which is why the "ice" feels hot.

Yes No. Not Helpful 6 Helpful 8. Theoretically, yes. Apple cider vinegar contains a similar amount of acetic acid to white vinegar since they are both produced through the same process.

Hot Ice or Sodium Acetate Science Project

These impurities may cause the ice to become solid sodium acetate sooner than you would want it to. Also, apple cider vinegar has a brownish color, which may not be the best choice when making hot ice.


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  • Not Helpful 6 Helpful 6. It can be used to neutralize sulfuric acid or create a buffer solution. Not Helpful 8 Helpful The picture has baking powder, and the instructions say to use only baking soda.

    Hot Ice Science Experiment

    Which is it? Sarah Sheridan. First you have to set up the solution. You need a large bowl or saucepan to put the vinegar in and you need to add the bicarbonate of soda bit by bit until it all dissolves. It will fizz as it is reacting, but if you add too much you will get the Volcano effect and you will lose all you solution over the side of the bowl. You have now made a solution called Sodium Acetate Once you have done this you now need to boil the solution so that it reduces down to about ml. This is a slow process and on a medium heat takes about an hour.

    It is worth it though. Once you have it ready, pour into a jug and cover with cling film.

    Step 1: Chemicals Reuired

    Put it in the fridge to cool! Once cooled you can then pretend it is water to your friends and pour it out onto a surface. It looks hot becasue it is what we call an exothermic reaction which means it gives out heat. How cool is that? The Sodium acetate exists as a supercool liquid in the fridge, that meaning that it is liquid form below its usual melting point, therefore as soon as you bring it into room temperature it and let it touch something warmer it will want to turn into a solid!


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