In this demo, the teacher creates a tower of sodium acetate trihydrate from a supersaturated solution. Your students’ curiosity will grow as you demonstrate the concepts of supersaturation and crystallization!
The sodium acetate solution is a supersaturated solution. The seed crystal is the start of a chain reaction, which causes all of the sodium acetate trihydrate molecules to crystallize. Crystallizing means that a liquid is becoming a solid, or “freezing.” The solution is supersaturated and supercooled—this means that it contains more dissolved sodium acetate than a saturated solution and has been cooled to below its freezing point without crystallization occurring.