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Q & A: frozen molasses

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
why doesn’t mollases freeze?
- Anonymous
A:
You can think of molasses as just water with lots of sugar dissolved in it. There's some other stuff also dissolved, but I think the sugar is by far the most important. Now sugar water, salt water, etc can freeze, but only at lower temperatures than plain water.
When molasses does freeze, the ice crystals will be almost purely made of water, leaving sugar behind. One way to understand that is to think of a crystal as a regularly packed set of molecules. Sugar molecules don't fit properly into the regular array of water molecules. When you get it cold enough, you'll also get sugar crystals because there won't be enough water left behind to dissolve the sugar.

You can search this site for other questions about salt water and sugar water freezing to get more information.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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