Sodium Acetate Crystallization

Sodium Acetate Crystallization

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Credit: Phil Degginger/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Crystallization of supersaturated solution of sodium acetate. Sodium acetate is used in consumer heating pads or hand warmers and is also used in hot ice. Sodium acetate trihydrate crystals melt at 58 C, dissolving in their water of crystallization. When they are heated to around 100 C, and subsequently allowed to cool, the aqueous solution becomes supersaturated. This solution is capable of cooling to room temperature without forming crystals. By clicking on a metal disc in the heating pad, a nucleation centre is formed which causes the solution to crystallize into solid sodium acetate trihydrate again. The bond-forming process of crystallization is exothermic, hence heat is emitted.

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Keywords: acetate, beaker, chemical reaction, chemistry, crystal, crystallization, crystals, demo, educational demonstration, example, exothermic reaction, experiment, reaction, saturated, sodium, sodium acetate, sodium acetate crystal, sodium acetate trihydrate crystal, solution, supersaturated, trihydrate

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