Did Ja Know

Photo by Sandy Brovold

Freeze-dried water is no joke

What do you get when you freeze-dry 100 ml of Lake Superior water? A very small pile of something that could be mistaken for baking soda. The real question, though, is "WHY?" Why would anyone go to such lengths to take the water out of water?

"What we are doing is concentrating the solids, especially the phosphorus-containing
substances, so that we can measure them more accurately," said Robert (Bob) Sterner, professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. "We use freeze drying to do this because heat can drive off a lot of volatiles. Using just the conventional methods, we can tell you there is phosphorus in the water but the accuracy is poor. Without more nuanced information we can't begin to understand how this critical nutrient moves around in the lake."

By Sea Grant Staff
February 2014

Return to February 2014 Seiche

This page last modified on February 23, 2015     © 1996 – 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
NOAA logo UMD logo University of Minnesota University of Minnesota Extension logotype