Did you ever try getting as much sugar as you could into a cup of Kool-Aid? It’s ok, we all did. There was always some sugar left over in the bottom of the cup, no matter how hard you stirred. If only you had known about the secret of supersaturated solutions, you never would have run into this problem. The Instant Hot Ice kit uses supersaturated solutions to demonstrate just how much of a solid you can dissolve in a little bit of liquid… all you have to do is heat it up! Once the solution cools, it only takes one additional crystal to turn the liquid in the flask into a mass of hot ice. Instant Hot Ice is the first kit of its kind, coming with everything you need to demonstrate a supersaturated solution. And who knows, we might even teach you a cool trick or two along the way!
- 500g sodium acetate trihydrate
- 50mL glass beaker
- 250mL glass flask
- Clear safety glasses
- Instant Hot Ice activity guide
How Does It Work?
Instant Hot Ice works through a supersaturated solution of sodium acetate trihydrate and water. Once cooled, the solution becomes unstable and can easily be triggered into a hot mass of ice. The release of the sodium acetate trihydrate molecules from the water triggers an exothermic reaction, the heat you feel.
What Does It Teach?
The same science used in the Instant Hot Ice kit is also behind the heat released by hand warmers. The kit itself is a great way to teach about exothermic chemical reactions and the differences between solids and liquids.
Science Fair Connection
If you want to use Instant Hot Ice as a science fair project, you have to figure out a variable. We have two pretty good options:
- Test different solutes (salt, sugar, baking powder, etc.)
- Try making a supersaturated solution using different liquids
It is incredibly important that you are careful when performing these experiments. They should all be done with full safety gear and adult supervision.
How many times can I perform the demonstration?
We include enough sodium acetate to perform the experiment and demonstration 3 times. If you properly recycle your supersaturated solution, however, you can do it a number of times.