Inhibition of Ice Growth and Recrystallization by Zirconium Acetate and Zirconium Acetate Hydroxide

Ortal Mizrahy, Maya Bar-Dolev*, Shlomit Guy, Ido Braslavsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The control over ice crystal growth, melting, and shaping is important in a variety of fields, including cell and food preservation and ice templating for the production of composite materials. Control over ice growth remains a challenge in industry, and the demand for new cryoprotectants is high. Naturally occurring cryoprotectants, such as antifreeze proteins (AFPs), present one solution for modulating ice crystal growth; however, the production of AFPs is expensive and inefficient. These obstacles can be overcome by identifying synthetic substitutes with similar AFP properties. Zirconium acetate (ZRA) was recently found to induce the formation of hexagonal cavities in materials prepared by ice templating. Here, we continue this line of study and examine the effects of ZRA and a related compound, zirconium acetate hydroxide (ZRAH), on ice growth, shaping, and recrystallization. We found that the growth rate of ice crystals was significantly reduced in the presence of ZRA and ZRAH, and that solutions containing these compounds display a small degree of thermal hysteresis, depending on the solution pH. The compounds were found to inhibit recrystallization in a manner similar to that observed in the presence of AFPs. The favorable properties of ZRA and ZRAH suggest tremendous potential utility in industrial applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere59540
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2013

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