A search has been made for road deicing chemicals to replace sodium chloride (AaC1). The impetus for this search stems from the numerous drawbacks associated with the prevalent use of MaCl as a road deicer. All types of chemical compounds were reviewed. Selections were made on the basis of criteria such as water solubility and freezing point lowering, corrosion, toxicity, relative cost or cost potential, effect on soils and plants and water supplies, flammability, concrete compatibility, traction, friction, highway performance, etc. Information was sought first in the literature, then supplemented or verified in the laboratory as needed. Two candidate deicers were found to be as effective as sodium chloride. One, methoanol, reacts almost immediately upon contact with snow and ice but is less persistent than NaCl. The other candidate, calcim magnesium acetate (CMA), acts at about the same rate as NaCl in the temperature range of common activity and shows about the same persistence. It gives rise to about the same descreases in coefficients of braking traction and skidding friction as NaCl. In strong contrast to NaCl, CMA is a corrosion inhibitor, is beneficial to most soils and has no potential for harming drinking supplies. The unpurified CMA derived from solid wastes, primarily cellulose, gives improved traction and reduces production costs. The methodology for CMA production, cost evaluated above, is unsophisticated 19th Century technology. Application of modern technology may further lower production costs. (FHWA)

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Bjorksten Research Laboratories, Incorporated

    P.O. Box 9444
    Madison, WI  United States  53715

    Federal Highway Administration

    Engineering Research and Development Bureau, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Dunn, S A
    • Dunn, A
    • Schenk, R U
  • Publication Date: 1980-3

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: 17 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00315057
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-79-109 Final Rpt., FCP 31L9-022
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FH-11-9100
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 5 1980 12:00AM