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Spontaneous ice slush

  1. Sep 15, 2012 #1
    I know about all those so-called water to ice scams out there but this is NOT one of those this weird thing happened to me and I am trying to figure out what happened.

    I normally make my own soda drink by carbonating water and adding a liquid mixture for sweetness and flavoring many have heard it probably, sodastream

    here is my exact process I go through every time.

    1. Fill 1 liter bottle with water from cooler (i use a water cooler from sparkletts for drinking)
    2. Pour small amount of water from bottle to a very small pill bottle I use for mixing
    3. Add powder flavored mix--sweetened koolaid to make it easy-- to small pill bottle and water
    4. Close and shake mixture to make a flavored liquid to add to liter bottle after it is carbonated
    5. Carbonate water in liter bottle
    6. Add liquid flavoring from step 4 to carbonated water in liter bottle
    7. Rotate bottle up and down to mix gently
    8. Enjoy the drink

    I have done this several hundred times... the last time was different and what happened I did not expect.

    Please don't think this is one of those scam things I am an analytical person and this is bugging the hell out of me.

    Some background info:
    Ambient temp about 100 air and bottle prior to filling
    Water coming from the cooler is cooled to very nice drinking temp --very cool
    Bottle may have had some liquid from previous mixture (a few drops)
    Previous liquid was one of those single packet of koolaid I simply carbonated
    Water flowed out of spigot smoothly and easily
    Ice disappeared during carbonation

    I completed step 1 above and walked into the kitchen and was about to pour some into the pill bottle and I saw this

    The pictures aren't too good because I was surprised to see it and wanted to take quick pictures. In the first pic you can see small trapped bubbles and the sort of the dice size ice crystals

    A big blob of slushy ice floating in the bottle
    It looked a little weird it was about the size of a 12 oz soda can but appeared to be very soft and it looked like it was made of large crystals about the size of a dice but mashed together somewhat.

    It appeared within 5 seconds or maybe instantaneously as I was filling the bottle I can't be sure but the water flowed smoothly as it went into the bottle and I turned to walk about 10 steps into the kitchen and went to fill the pill bottle but saw the ice.

    This all before carbonation as others have thought. In the past as I was carbonating the water I did happen to see small filaments less the an inch long and about as thick as a USB cable which disappeared after a minute or so while floating in the carbonated liquid.

    This was completely different and I am at a loss as to what happened.

    Some of my thoughts
    I am not sure of the temp of the water coming out of the cooler but it is quite cool.
    I am a little confused about endothermic and exothermic I know the difference between them but doesn't it depend on what you are looking at as to whether it is endo or exo thermic meaning if I put the cool water into a very warm bottle wouldn't the water go through an exothermic change giving off heat to the bottle and would the same reaction be endothermic if you are looking at what happens to the bottle because it takes in heat.

    Now if the water was say 32.5 degrees F couldn't it go through an exothermic reaction giving off heat to the bottle and that reaction could cause the slush to form in the center of the water column....maybe some of the previous drink mixture could have been a catalyst of some sort?. This mixture actually a solution of water flavoring and sweeteners. If so could it happen this fast?

    I really do not know and am guessing but this kind of makes a bit of sense to me. The funnt part is that like I said I have done this hundreds of times when it was just as hot and nothing like this happened
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not knowing temperatures it is hard to comment on what has happened. My first idea is that the water was supercooled.
  4. Sep 16, 2012 #3
    could be supercooling.
  5. Sep 16, 2012 #4
    Thank you for responding I was afraid everyone thought I was making this up but I am not. I am an analytical person and love to know why things do the thing they do. My place is filled with little projects and things I built just to see how they work. This surprised me completely as I never would expected it.
    But not being completely familiar with all the terms being used what do you mean by super cooling. Does that mean it was something broken in the water coolor that caused it to get much colder than normal or is it some kind of reaction. Like I said I have several of these drink a day and have had them for over the past year and this never happened before. Could you explain what you mean by supercooled. How would/could super cooling occur?
    Thank you again.
  6. Sep 16, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

  7. Sep 16, 2012 #6
    after wikifying myself ...thanks for the link... I do believe that is probably what happened It was very weird to see this happen thanks again for all of your input
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