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IPFS News Link • Building and Construction Materials

Asphalt additive could continuously keep roads ice-free

• by By Ben Coxworth

The chloride-based ice-melting salts which are currently spread on roads can harm the environment when they run off the asphalt and into nearby waterways.

They may also degrade the very roads that they're de-icing, plus they cause cars to rust and they have to be applied repeatedly throughout the winter. Even then, once a fresh layer of ice forms on the asphalt, drivers are stuck with it until the ice-spreading trucks arrive again.

Scientists from China's Hebei University of Science and Technology (and other institutions) set out to address those shortcomings, starting out by developing a chloride-free acetate-based salt. Such salts are considerably less environmentally harmful than chlorides, they're less corrosive to steel and other materials, plus they work at lower temperatures.