Water Behavior Surprises — Freezing at High Temperatures in Carbon Nanotubes

There is an interesting article from the MIT News Office which reports on research done by a team of scientists there who have found that water behaves in a highly unexpected way when confined in tiny spaces inside carbon nanotubes.

From the article here: http://news.mit.edu/2016/carbon-nanotubes-water-solid-boiling-1128

It’s a well-known fact that water, at sea level, starts to boil at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius. And scientists have long observed that when water is confined in very small spaces, its boiling and freezing points can change a bit, usually dropping by around 10 C or so.

But now, a team at MIT has found a completely unexpected set of changes: Inside the tiniest of spaces—in carbon nanotubes whose inner dimensions are not much bigger than a few water molecules—water can freeze solid even at high temperatures that would normally set it boiling.

The discovery illustrates how even very familiar materials can drastically change their behavior when trapped inside structures measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter. And the finding might lead to new applications—such as, essentially, ice-filled wires—that take advantage of the unique electrical and thermal properties of ice while remaining stable at room temperature.

There have been some researchers who have claimed that superconductivity happens in LENR, and one of the keys that seems to be required for LENR reaction is to have hydrogen molecules ‘trapped’ inside tiny cavities in a metal lattice, so this news could have some relation to the LENR field. Certainly something very unexpected has been observed here, which again shows that it can be presumptuous to rule out things that are are impossible according to conventional wisdom.

  • Gerard McEk

    By understanding the extreme tiny we will also master also the ultra large!

  • LION

    Still WINGEING after 60 years + and BILLIONS of pounds of research money.


  • Nanotubes are like the Swiss army knife of the nanoscale world. By controlling the diameter, chirality (twist), number of walls (concentric tubes), and imperfections (atom substitutes for one or more carbon atoms or attachments) you dial up all sorts of properties made to order.

    Like conductor, semi-conductor or insulator… filtrate specific molecules… incredible tensile strength… or the ability to sense/attach to specific targets.

    Buckyballs and graphene are incredible too. Carbon is like that tinker toy piece that had all the holes in it that you used in the center of all your creations.

  • LION
  • Alan DeAngelis

    This in a way reminds of the Mpemba effect contest. Why does hot water freeze faster than cold water?

    Needless to say, my uncreative and noneye-catching guess didn’t win:
    Hot water has a density closer to the density of ice than cold water has. This would allow a higher percentage of water molecules in hot water to cluster into configurations closer to those of ice crystals. This would speed up the crystallization process once the first seed crystal forms.

    So the density of the cold water is a barrier to crystal formation that has to be overcome for crystallization to take place.

  • CWatters

    As I recall Aerogel has very small pores – so small that they significantly reduced its thermal conductivity. Perhaps filling the pores with hydrogen would turn Aerogel into a LENR substrate?

  • Zephir

    The main connection to cold fusion here are the successful LENR experiments with zeolites, which also have narrow pores http://www.lenr-coldfusion.com/2012/10/01/lenr-zeolites/ Compare also here http://www.e-catworld.com/2016/10/11/the-magic-of-cracks-pits-and-holes-axil-axil/

  • Rossi Fan

    There is a connection between energy and space. Crescent Dunes transforms light energy in 2D (a plane) into heat energy in 0D (a point). The upcoming Sandstone project will produce as much power as a nuclear plant. It will power 1,000,000 homes. Imaging3 transforms light energy measurements in 2D (a plane) into light energy measurements in 3D (a volume).

  • Albert D. Kallal

    This is quite interesting. Remember, the pressure created by water freezing and expanding is MASSIVE.

    In fact it relative recent that the pressure created by water freezing was determined. Early researchers tried everything including that of using huge cannon casings. These cannon cylinder are DESIGNED to withstand HUGE pressures of the exploding charge which in turns ejects the shell out of the barrel. Researchers took unfinished cannon casings (with the end not yet bored out), filled the casing with water, sealed it and then subjected to below freezing temperatures. The result was these massive steel cannon casing would crack and split under the pressure of the water turning into ice. The pressure has been determined to be 43,000 lbs/sq inch. This is a remarkable amount of pressure – it takes some rather creative engineering to build vessels that can withstand such incredible high pressures.

    So, why then is water freezing in Nano tubes interesting and has one shred of interest to the LENR community? Well, that simply means that the same above MASSIVE pressures are created without requiring massive structures. In other words, massive pressures are being crated with relative ease.

    How and why does this occur in a simple Nano tube? Well, think of how a nut cracker works.

    It is WIDE speculated that the cracks and fissures in the nickel is where the LENR effect occurs.

    The best way to imagine this is when you use a nut cracker (given we are into the holiday seasons – talking about nut crackers seems appropriate). With a nut cracker you place the nut inside between fulcrum at the short end, and then squeeze on rather long levers to create pressure with great ease to crack that nut.

    So think of Hydrogen atoms being stuffed into the tiny cracks and fissures in the metal lattice. Now, squeeze the ends of the nut cracker – or in this case “shake” the metal lattice with an EM pulse. The result is those tiny cracks and fissures now squeezing and their space shrinking. There is HUGE pressure occurring in these crevices as you expand/contract the metal lattice. You are cracking those H atoms.

    This is MUCH like squeezing the nut cracker with the almond nut (or H atom) at the small inside and you squeezing the long end of the tongs. The result is HUGE pressure. So, those cracks in the metal lattice are like nut crackers. And now we see this effect in VERY small spaces inside those Nano-tubes. In fact this means a VERY tiny change in the size of the Nano tube results in massive pressure – enough to freeze the water.

    What this suggests that Nano tubes may WELL be a way to promote the LENR effect. It is rather possible that you don’t need nickel for this reaction, but only something into which we stuff the H atoms, and then squeeze the crap out of those atoms. I am thus “more” open to the idea of dark H atoms, or H atoms at a “lower” state of energy.

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada