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What Anti-Freeze Is Most Biologically Safe?

Researched by Emily P.


The purpose of this experiment was to determine which automobile anti-freeze is most biologically safe.

I became interested in this idea when I was reading information on the Internet and saw that anti-freeze is often harmful to plants, animals, and humans.

The information gained from this experiment will benefit society by proving what brand of anti-freeze is the safest for our environment. 

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My hypothesis is that recycled anti-freeze will affect the grass the least out of all the anti-freezes chosen for this experiment.

I base my hypothesis on a quote from "Cool As News’" (recycled anti-freeze) website ( that "Recycled anti-freeze ensures adherence to environmental laws and regulations which creates a good relationship and reputation with regulatory agencies and the community."

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The constants in this study were: 
* The type of grass, the amount of soil
* The amount of water given to each area of grass
* The amount and temperature of anti-freeze distributed to each area of grass
* Growing Conditions

The manipulated variable was the type of anti-freeze used for each area of grass in the experiment.

The responding variable was the height of the grass after experimenting for 24 days.

To measure the responding variable I used a meter stick and measured the height of the 4 intersections of string and then averaged the 4 to find the mean height. 

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1 200 ml. Water
4 100 ml. Water
54 40 Sprays Water Bottles
5 9 1/2 x 14 x 5-cm. Pans
5 250 ml. Grass Seeds
5 Spray Bottles
1 100. Recycled Anti-freeze
1 100 ml. Havoline Extended Life Anti-freeze
1 100 ml. Prestone Anti-freeze
1 100 ml. Turbo Power Anti-freeze
5 4-cm. Potting Soil
5 1/4-cm. Peat Moss
4 29-cm. pieces of yarn
1 38-cm. pieces of yarn
1 Centimeter stick

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1. Gather all materials.
2. Fill a 9 1/2x14x5 pan with 4 cm of soil.
3. Sprinkle 250 milliliters of grass seeds evenly in the pan.
4. Fill a normal spray bottle with water.
5. Spray water bottle 40 times around the pan evenly
6. Cover seed with 1/2 cm soil.
7. Spread dirt evenly.
8. Sprinkle a light layer of peat moss over soil.
9. Spray water bottle another 40 times evenly over the soil.
10. Partition pan with a grid of yarn.
A. Take 4 29-mm pieces of yarn and wrap them around the width of the pan 3-cm apart.
B. Take 1 38-mm pieces of yarn and wrap them around the pan length 3-cm apart.
11. Fill a normal spray bottle with water.
12. Spray the spray bottle 40 time evenly around the pan twice a day.
13. Repeat steps 2-12 with four other pans.
14. Place two lamps with 60-watt bulbs above the pans (One on each side) and begin growth.
15. Repeat steps 11-12 everyday for 18 days.
16. Take a millimeter ruler and measure the height of the 4 intersections of yarn.
17. Add up all measurements for each pan (4 measurements per pan) the find the mean of each pan of grass height.
18. Take first brand of anti-freeze and put 100 ml in a normal spray bottle with 100-ml. water.
19. Spray the spray bottle until empty evenly around the pan.
20. Repeat steps 18-19 with another pan and a different brand of anti-freeze.
21. Repeat step 20 with all other pans and anti-freezes except the one control (leave it with out anti-freeze [spray controlled with 200 ml. Water])
22. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for 6 more days.
23. On day 6, measure and record data of the 4 intersections from the soil to where the green stops.
24. Record mean for all pans.

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The original purpose of this experiment was to determine which automobile anti-freeze is most biologically safe.

The results of the experiment were that recycled anti-freeze had the least affect on the grass experimented on. Havoline Extended life and Turbo Power anti-freezes effected the grass the most of all the anti-freezes experimented with. Two observations made during experimenting were that after a few days, the grass began to have an odor, and the anti-freeze burned the top of the grass blades.

See the table and graph below.

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My hypothesis was that "recycled anti-freeze will effect the grass the least out of all the anti-freezes chosen for this experiment."

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be accepted because, recycled anti-freeze was the least hazardous for the grass.

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if certain brands of anti-freeze recycled would have different effects and conclusions. Also I wonder if I were to use a different type of plant or apply different amounts of anti-freeze, would the results be different? 

If I were to conduct this project again I would start the experiment sooner, to give the grass longer to grow before and after applying anti-freeze with it.

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Each year, anti-freeze spills on the ground, or enters the body killing many animals, plants, and children. This experiment will prove which antifreeze is the safest for our environmental world. 


There are many kinds of grass. Grass is one of the largest plant families there is. The reason there is so much grass is because grass grows almost everywhere on Earth and in almost any temperature or climate. Grass is very helpful because it helps stop erosion and holds soil particles together with roots that dig in to the ground and can’t be washed or blown away. Grass is green because of chlorophyll and also, grass uses a process called photosynthesis to change sunlight into energy. The grass plant has two parts, the vegetative organs and the floral organs. The Vegetative organs are the roots, stem, and leaves, which keep the plant growing. The floral organs are the stamens (male floral parts), pistil (female floral parts), and lodicules (delicate scales The floral organs keep the flower developing. The floral parts produce seeds. Grass has thread like roots called fibrous, stems called culms, joints called nodes, and areas between the joints called internodes. While nodes are solid, sometimes internodes are hollow. There are two kinds of stems, rhizomes and stolons. Rhizomes are below ground creeping stems, and stolons are above ground creeping stems. Some plants have both rhizomes and stolons; these both spread out to start a new plant. Grass leafs are two ranked, and grow on the opposite side of the culm of the leaf below. The leaf is made of the sheath, blade, ligule, and auricle. The sheath wraps around the culm above every node. The blade is flat and narrow, and attaches to the top of the sheath. The ligule grows where the blade and sheath meet, and may form a thin sheet.  The auricle grows on the back of the leaf, where the blade meets the sheath.


Anti-freeze is a substance that lowers the freezing point in an engine, and a compound that removes ice, or prevents it from forming. Anti-freeze is added to the engines cooling system, and heats transfer fluid. An engine operates at very high temperatures, and is cooled by this fluid running through its cooling system. Anti-freeze and water used to be used in winter, and just water alone in summer to cool an engine, but now year round an equal proportion of both is used. Anti-freeze prevents water from freezing, and now also raises boiling point of water. The cooling system of an engine operates best at high temperatures. Kerosene, honey, salt water and other things used to be used as anti-freeze, but they can damage an engine.  Most anti-freezes are made of ethylene glycol and chemicals that protect the metal parts of the engines cooling system from corrosion.


Most of the Earth’s surface is covered by soil, an important resource 
that gives nutrients to plants. Soil is made up of mineral and organic particles, other plant and animal matter, and air and water. The contents of soil change constantly." says World
Book Encyclopedia. There are many different kinds of soil. Soil in area determine how
crops grow in that region. Soil is destroyed easily, and takes a long time to form, it is very
important because it supports life.


Photosynthesis is a process that occurs in plants. Photosynthesis means putting together with light. With energy from light carbon dioxide and water are combined to make food in plants. Chlorophyll absorbs the light to perform this process, which is only preformed by plants. Chlorophyll is found in chloroplasts, an organelle that is only found in plant cells.


It’s important to dispose and store anti-freeze properly because of the effects that it could and does have on the environment. Anti-freeze is a dangerous chemical that is harmful, and can cause problems.

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"Cool As New", [Online] Available, Dec. 1999

"Grass", World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, Page 324

Kathleen C. Taylor, "Antifreeze", World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, Page 554

"The Grass Plant", World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, Page 324

"Soil", World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, Page 573

"Photosynthesis", World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, Page 430



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