Here's one experiment that let's you investigate it:
Materials and Equipment
To do this experiment you will need the following materials and equipment:
Identical plates or saucers
Electronic kitchen balance (accurate to 0.1 g)
Suggested materials to test for ice-melting ability
Do your background research so that you are knowledgeable about the terms, concepts, and questions, above.
You'll need a clean plate and several ice cubes for each of the substances to be tested.
Use the balance to measure the initial mass of the ice cube. For more information on how to properly use a balance see Chemistry Lab Techniques.
Note the starting time, then carefully sprinkle one teaspoon of the substance to be tested over the ice cube.
After a fixed amount of time (say, 10 minutes), pour off the melted water into a measuring cup, and use the balance to measure the mass. Subtract the mass of the empty cup, and you'll have the mass of the melted water. Wait the same amount of time for each test.
Measure the remaining mass of the ice cube.
Repeat three times for each substance to be tested.
Use the same procedure to measure the melting rate for ice cubes with nothing added.
For each test, calculate the percentage of the ice cube that melted:
[mass of melt water]/[initial mass of ice cube] × 100
For each test, calculate the percentage of the ice cube remaining:
[remaining mass of ice cube]/[initial mass of ice cube] × 100
For each substance you tested, calculate the average amount of melted water produced (as a percentage of initial mass), and the average remaining ice cube mass (as a percentage of initial mass).
Did any substances speed up melting of the ice (compared to melting rate of plain ice cubes with nothing added)?
Does the melting rate depend on the amount of solute added? Design an experiment to find out.
Try your experiment in the refrigerator to simulate colder weather. Alternatively, if the outside temperature is wintry, take your experiment outdoors! Be sure to monitor the temperature regularly throughout your experiment.
For a related, more advanced experiment on freezing point depression, see the Science Buddies project Chemistry of Ice-Cream Making: Lowering the Freezing Point of Water
Do you think salt would melt ice in your freezer? Why or why not? Try it and find out.
For more science project ideas in this area of science, see Chemistry Project Ideas.
Hope this helped.
Andrew Olson, Ph.D., Science Buddies
· 8 years ago