Why Is Alcohol Used In Radiators Of Vehicles In Cold Countries?
Water has some special properties. One among them is the ability of water in absorbing the heat immensely. Hence, the specific heat parameter of water is very high. For that reason of ability of water in absorbing heat, water is used extensively in radiators and engines of cars to absorb the heat generated quickly. But if the temperature of water becomes less than four degrees Celsius, then it gets expanded in volume.
Hence in the colder western countries, regions of Arctic and Antarctica when the temperature drops to below four degrees Celsius, water expands in its volume and transforms to solid ice form. Hence, density of water decreases. Since the density of ice is less than water, it floats on the water. Snow/Ice floating on water transforms into thick solid form gradually and forms a thick ice layer over small water ponds. Thus, ice covers the entire surface of water. Since ice is a heat insulator, water in the pond below the ice would be maintained with an optimum temperature not less than four degree Celsius. Hence living creatures in water would live comfortably at the bottom of water. This special characteristic of water is called Anomalous Expansion.
Hence when water is used in radiators of cars in colder countries water gets expanded unevenly due to the property of Anomalous Expansion. Due to that, radiator pipes may break. For that reason, in colder countries alcohol is used along with the water in radiators of cars.