Development of an Improved Agricultural-Based Deicing Product
Snow and ice removal on public streets is a critical part of the work of departments of transportation in northern U.S. states, including Iowa. Iowa is also a state rich in agricultural resources, some of which undergo industrial processes that generate a number of byproducts, e.g., in converting corn to ethanol or soy to biodiesel. It would be desirable to find those that, with a minimum of additional processing, can be used as a deicing compound, either alone or in combination with products currently in use. The focus of this work is therefore to investigate by-products from agricultural processes that may be suitable for use as deicing applications. This topic has been investigated in the past by others, with many patented products described in the literature. An initial screening was carried out to assess the potential acceptability of selected commercial products, as well as a glycerol developed for this project. Based on the variety of parameters tested, the product combination that shows the greatest promise for future application consists of 80% glycerol with 20% NaCl.