Chemistry Science Fair Project
Create an efficient cold pack using water and fertilizers

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Project Information
Title: Create an efficient and economical cold pack using water and different types and different quantities of fertilizer.
Subject: Chemistry
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: First place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2005)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2005
Description: Fertilizer was placed in a small Ziploc bag which was inserted in a larger water-filled Ziploc bag.

Ice Pack

An ice pack (commonly used therapeutically) is a plastic sac of crushed or cubed ice, refrigerant gel or liquid, or even frozen vegetables.

This refrigerant, usually non-toxic, can absorb a lot of heat, since its specific heat is very high.

It is commonly used to alleviate the pain of minor injuries.

The most common type of ice pack is simply a sack, bag, or towel filled with cubed or crushed ice.

Ice packs are used in coolers to keep disease-bearing foods (meats, milk products, eggs, etc.) below 41 F (5 C) to keep them safe for eating. If the foods and the ice packs fill the cooler directly from the freezer, then the equivalent of 10 to 20 pounds of ice is needed for each 24 hour period. If the ice pack is filled with a coolant, then the same weight may last longer. If the foods come from the refrigerator then they will not stay cool as long with the same size ice pack. These foods should remain over 41 F (5 C) and under 165 F (74 C) for no longer than 4 hours accumulated over their entire existence. In that way, ice packs can be considered equivalent to a larger mass of ice.

Ice packs have the added benefit over ice that they do not cross-contaminate foods as ice can do when it turns liquid and mixes with the foods.

Another type of ice pack uses the endothermic reaction of ammonium nitrate and water to cool down quickly. When one breaks a tube inside the pack the ammonium nitrate is released allowing it to mix with the water.

Ziploc Bags

Ziploc is a brand of disposable, re-sealable zipper storage bags and containers originally developed by Dow Chemical Company, and now produced by S. C. Johnson & Son. According to Dow's website, the bags were originally test marketed in 1968. The bags and containers come in different sizes for use with different products. The brand offers sandwich bags, snack bags and other bags for various purposes. For example, one-gallon, two-gallon, and quart size bags are offered, as well as freezer bags and very large bags for storage. The enormous Ziploc "Big Bag" comes in two sizes: XL (2ft x 1.7ft) and XXL (2ft x 2.7ft). Ziploc storage and freezer bags are made from polyethylene plastic resin.

The bags can be locked by a zip so contents remain fresh or to keep out dust.

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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