Cooling bath

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Cooling baths are solutions or mixtures that allow for cooling during a reaction or experiment. Many different solutions and mixtures are available to the amateur, often using ice or dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) as a chilling source.

Common mixtures

The below list is of basic, common, and easy to use mixtures[1].

  • Ice (0 °C) - Grind ice for best use. Snow (if available) can also be used.
  • Ice/NaCl at 1:1 (-20 °C) - Works best if ground. Saltwater and dry ice works well too. This is one of the cheapest and easy to make.
  • Acetonitrile/Dry ice (-40 °C) - Add dry ice slowly.
  • Acetone/Dry Ice (-78 °C) - Mix slowly, may produce lots of CO2.

Other types:

  • Liquid nitrogen/Ethanol (-116°C) - Extremely cold, when it forms the surface will rapidly freeze, but the crust is easy to break. Once all the liquid nitrogen will evaporate, the cooled ethanol will have the consistency of a syrup.

List of cooling baths

Cooling agent Carrier T (°C) Notes
Dry ice p-Xylene 13 °C
Dry ice 1,4-Dioxane 12 °C
Dry ice Cyclohexane 6 °C
Dry ice Benzene 5 °C
Dry ice Formamide 2 °C
Crushed ice Water/ice 0 °C
Ice Ammonium chloride -5 °C 1:0.3 ice to salt ratio
Liquid nitrogen Aniline -6 °C
Ice Sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate -8 °C 1:1.1 ice to salt ratio
Ice Acetone -10 °C 1:1 ice to acetone ratio
Ice Calcium chloride hexahydrate -10 °C 2.5:1 ice to salt ratio
Dry ice Ethylene glycol -10.5 °C
Dry ice Cycloheptane -12 °C
Dry ice Benzyl alcohol -15 °C
Ice Table salt -20 °C 3:1 ice to salt ratio
Dry ice Tetrachloroethylene -22 °C
Dry ice Carbon tetrachloride -22.8 °C
Dry ice 1,3-Dichlorobenezene -25 °C
Dry ice o-Xylene -29 °C
Liquid nitrogen Bromobenzene -30 °C
Dry ice m-Toluidine -32 °C
Dry ice 3-Heptanone -38 °C
Ice Calcium chloride hexahydrate -40 °C 0.8:1 ice to salt ratio
Dry ice Acetonitrile -41 °C
Dry ice Pyridine -42 °C
Dry ice Cyclohexanone -46 °C
Dry ice m-Xylene -47 °C
Dry ice Diethyl carbitol -52 °C
Dry ice n-Octane -56 °C
Dry ice Diisopropyl ether -60 °C
Dry ice Chloroform -61 °C
Liquid nitrogen Chloroform -63 °C
Dry ice Ethanol -72 °C
Dry ice Trichloroethylene -73 °C
Dry ice Isopropanol -77 °C
Liquid nitrogen Butyl acetate -77 °C
Dry ice Acetone -78 °C
Dry ice Sulfur dioxide -82 °C
Dry ice Propyl amine -83 °C
Liquid nitrogen Ethyl acetate -83.6 °C
Liquid nitrogen Butanol -89 °C
Liquid nitrogen Hexane -94 °C
Liquid nitrogen Acetone -94.6 °C
Liquid nitrogen Toluene -95.1 °C
Liquid nitrogen Methanol -98 °C
Dry ice Diethyl ether -100 °C
Liquid nitrogen Cyclohexane -104 °C
Liquid nitrogen Isooctane -107 °C
Liquid nitrogen Ethyl iodide -109 °C
Liquid nitrogen Carbon disulfide -110 °C
Liquid nitrogen Butyl bromide -112 °C
Liquid nitrogen Ethanol -116 °C
Liquid nitrogen Diethyl ether -116 °C
Liquid nitrogen Ethyl bromide -119 °C
Liquid nitrogen Acetaldehyde -124 °C
Liquid nitrogen Methylcyclohexane -126 °C
Liquid nitrogen Propanol -127 °C
Liquid nitrogen n-Pentane -131 °C
Liquid nitrogen 1,5-Hexadiene -141 °C
Liquid nitrogen Isopentane -160 °C
Liquid nitrogen Liquid nitrogen -196 °C

[2] [3]


A more complete list of cooling baths can be obtained at the chem-wiki reference.


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