Science Education Home Home Teachers Students Games Videos VA SOL Programs

Frostbite Theater

Liquid Nitrogen and Antifreeze!

What happens when the freezing power of liquid nitrogen meets the antifreezing power of ethylene glycol?

Announcer: Frostbite Theater presents... Cold Cuts! No baloney!

Joanna and Steve: Just science!

Joanna: Hi! I'm Joanna!

Steve: And I'm Steve!

Joanna: What happens when the freezing power of liquid nitrogen...

Steve: ...meets the antifreezing power of ethylene glycol!

Joanna: While a mix of 70 percent ethylene glycol and 30 percent water doesn't freeze until 60 degrees below zero, it's still no match for liquid nitrogen. At 321 degrees below zero, liquid nitrogen easily freezes antifreeze!

Steve: So, while normal antifreeze may work in Minnesota or Alaska, it's no good on Titan or Pluto.

Joanna: Thanks for watching! I hope you'll join us again soon for another experiment!

Steve: It looks kind of like a snowcone!

Joanna: Yeah... A snowcone of frozen, poisonous death!

Citation and linking information

For questions about this page, please contact Carol McKisson.