Why Does Alcohol Not Freeze?

Well, thats not exactly true. Alcohol does freeze, but our refrigerators don’t have the umph to do what it takes. Lets take a closer look at alcohol.

In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom. There are many types of alcohols and many uses for them. For example, methanol is a type of alcohol found in your car’s antifreeze, ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and isopropyl alcohol is a type of alcohol found inhand sanitizers like Purell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freezing points of different substances are influenced by the strengths of intermolecular bonds. The stronger the forces between molecules, the more easily the substance will freeze, i.e. the substance will freeze at a higher temperature. So for example, water forms four very strong Hydrogen bonds between four other water molecules. Therefore, it freezes at a relatively high temperature of 34 °F (0 °C). On the other hand, alcohol has weak intermolecular forces because it only forms one hydrogen bond with other molecules and as a result freezes at a very low temperature -174.6 °F (-114.7 °C).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exact freezing point of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey and other liqueurs is dependent on their proof, or alcohol per volume. The lower the proof, the warmer the freezing point: the higher the proof, the colder the freezing point. As a result of this, beers and other low proof beverages could freeze more easily.

Since most household refrigerators are kept between -10 and 0 °F (-23 and -18 °C), we never get to see frozen alcohol. So next time someone asks you why alcohol cant freeze, impress them.

What do you guys think? Do you like this? How about a question you would like me to answer for next week’s blog.

Sources Used-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator

http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/wms-alcohol-freezing/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol

http://cocktails.about.com/od/mixology/f/alcohol_freeze.htm

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3 thoughts on “Why Does Alcohol Not Freeze?

  1. Thank you for finally answering this question! I have always wanted to know the reason why alcohol doesn’t freeze. My mother was the one who showed me that alcohol is better left in the freezer and so my sisters and I always use that tip.

  2. A beer exploded in my freezer when a drunk friend forgot she put it in there. now I know why. hahah thanks for the interesting read!

  3. hahaha a beer exploded thx the science fair is coming up I want to freeze alcohol hot water and cold water and see witch one will freeze first (i am in 5th grade) search Amanda Renee Sims and find out why i am messed up she is my mom hot water will freeze first

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