Reducing environmental footprint of snow and ice control operations by leveraging the select agro-based byproducts

Focus Area



Air Quality, Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

This project will develop innovative
anti-icing/deicing formulations for snow and ice control on highways, using
beet sugar refining by-products and other additives for freezing-point
suppression, performance enhancement, and corrosion inhibition. The locally
sourced, environmentally friendly by-products will be an essential component of
a strategy to enhance the performance of salt brine and cost-effectively
replace high-cost proprietary products currently on the market. This will be
accomplished through agency surveys followed by extensive laboratory
investigation.  This project takes
advantage of existing research.  Our
approach is to develop anti-icing liquids consisting of cost-competitive
chemicals identified via agency surveys and market analysis (e.g., desugared
beet molasses and glycerol), rock salt, and other additives (e.g., bio-derived
succinate salts, thickener, concrete protection additive, and possibly
corrosion inhibitor). Field operational tests will be conducted as part of a
follow-up study.

Urgency and Payoff

Development of alternative anti-icing/deicing products
serves the public interest, as this research is expected to generate
significant cost savings for the Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and other
maintenance agencies, traveler benefits in terms of improved safety and
mobility, and societal benefits in in reducing the amount of chlorides into the
environment. The use of non-chloride alternative products will greatly reduce
corrosion and environmental impacts from winter roadway operations. This
research will provide maintenance agencies with more options in their snow and
ice control toolbox and promote sustainable winter road service. 

Suggested By

Xianming Shi Western Transportation Institute 406-994-6486

[email protected]