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Sodium Ethanoate Stalagmite

In this video from the Teachers TV series Demonstrating Chemistry, Professor Hal Sosabowski demonstrates a solid spontaneously coming out of solution to create an impressive stalagmite of crystals. Hal slowly pours a supersaturated solution of sodium ethanoate on to some seed crystals of dry sodium ethanoate, which provide the nucleation sites to start the precipitation. This self-perpetuating exothermic reaction forms the basis for hand-warming packs. Instructions for the preparation of supersaturated sodium ethanoate and handy tips are given at the end of the film.



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