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Topic: Why does antifreeze have low viscosity?  (Read 3746 times)

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Offline sugaJ

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Why does antifreeze have low viscosity?
« on: July 02, 2009, 06:47:16 AM »
I'm stumped on this question. Ethylene glycol, or antifreeze has O-H groups and it seems like a fairly large molecule. Both of these usually increase viscosity so why does ethylene glycol have such a low viscosity?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Offline lancenti

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Re: Why does antifreeze have low viscosity?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 04:16:42 AM »
You're going to need much more than polar interaction to make something viscuous.

Ethylene Glycol is just about as big as Ethanol, or maybe Propanol, so there isn't much ID-ID interaction going on. Since it has two -OH groups now, it just makes it something like, say, water (I'm obviously oversimplifying here).

To make it viscuous, you'll want a longer hydrocarbon chain - say maybe octane.

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