Evaluating the Effectiveness of Liquid Organic Anti-icing Chemicals for Winter Road Maintenance
MetadataShow full item record
Over five million tons of road salts are applied in Canada every winter to keep users of roads, parking lots and side walks safe. While effective for snow and ice control, salts at high concentrations are detrimental to the environment and corrosive to vehicles and infrastructure. As an alternative to the regular salt, new organic and semi-organic anti-icing and deicing products are increasingly available in the market; however, limited information on their performance is available for transportation agencies and maintenance industry to make informed decisions. In this study, a set of organic (Snowmelt) and semi-organic (Caliber M1000 and Fusion) products were selected and their performances were evaluated through a series of field tests conducted in parking lot C (surfaced with asphalt concrete) at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Approximately 155 tests were conducted in a real world environment for over 14 test days. The performance of the alternatives was compared to the regular salt (brine) using friction improvement as a measure. The factors influencing the performance of the alternative salts were also identified through both data exploration and statistical analysis. The results showed that organic and semi-organic anti-icing chemicals performed very similarly to brine in melting snow and ice in almost all of the weather conditions. Only a slight performance advantage was observed for Snowmelt and Caliber M1000 in very cold temperatures (below -7oC) for the first one and in milder temperatures (above -7oC) for the second one. This finding suggests that these alternatives to the regular salt (brine) can be effectively used for anti-icing operations, consequently reducing the impacts of chloride salts on the environment. The study also concluded that an application rate as low as 3L/1000ft2 should be applied for parking lots or low volume roads, which is 25% less than the current application rates used in industry for parking lot maintenance.