The Challenge: Make Ice
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Ideally, for the best removal of heat by an evaporating liquid we need one with a high latent
heat of evaporation (so that each gram evaporated removes a lot of heat)
and a low boiling temperature (so that it boils easily when we apply our
vacuum and therefore removes heat rapidly). However, maybe methanol looks
promising. It's got a reasonably low boiling temperature and quite a high
latent heat. We knew that you can make methanol and acetone from the destructive
distillation of wood. So that's what we did.
Once we had the mixture of methanol/acetone we tried to evaporate it, under vacuum, in
the presence of water, to try and cool the water to ice.
The methanol/acetone mixture evaporates taking heat from the water, which is enclosed inside
an insulating container with lid.
How did methanol work?