“Snowfall in a bottle” experiment

How to make a snow “globe” with a bottle

What can you do if you want a win­ter won­der­land, but out­side the weath­er is gray and drea­ry? You can make a bliz­zard in a bot­tle!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Wear gloves and pro­tec­tive glass­es. Ob­serve safe­ty rules in work­ing with heat­ing de­vices.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • 70 g am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride;
  • wa­ter;
  • emp­ty bot­tle;
  • hot plate or oth­er heat­ing de­vice;
  • beaker.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Sprin­kle am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride into the beaker, add wa­ter and heat, so the salt dis­solves com­plete­ly. Then quick­ly pour the re­sult­ing so­lu­tion into a bot­tle and leave to cool. Watch crys­tals fall­ing that look like snowflakes.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

When the tem­per­a­ture is raised, the sol­u­bil­i­ty of cer­tain salts in­creas­es. Am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride is one such salt. If we make a sat­u­rat­ed so­lu­tion of it at 80°C, i.e. if we dis­solve the max­i­mum pos­si­ble amount of am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride in wa­ter (around 66g per 100g of wa­ter), then on cool­ing, part of the am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride will pre­cip­i­tate, be­cause at room tem­per­a­ture the sol­u­bil­i­ty of am­mo­ni­um chlo­ride is just 37 g per 100 g. The salt starts to pre­cip­i­tate in the form of beau­ti­ful crys­tals re­sem­bling snowflakes.