Unmet Need: Bio-based sustainable winter road maintenance operations
The United States alone spends approximately $2.3 billion each year to keep highways free of snow and ice. The highway winter maintenance operations which primarily use chloride salts cause considerable damages to infrastructure, motor vehicles and the natural environment and add at least $5 billion to this cost. Recent studies have explored usage of bio-based deicers. However, there are gaps in these studies related to the materials and unknown compounds including raw bio-based materials, waste of industrial processes and commercial organic chemicals. These also impact the environment potentially due to toxicological effects.
The Technology: Use of eco-friendly renewable agro-based materials as deicers
Due to reasons mentioned, there is an urgent need to introduce more eco-friendly materials for winter road maintenance operations. WSU researchers have introduced sustainable anti-icing formulations for snow and ice control on highways using concord grape extract, glycerin, sodium metasilicate and sodium formate. Cost-competitive renewable agro-based compounds have been used.
• Keeping highways and other roadways free of snow and ice during winter.
• Improved ice-melting capacity at -3.9°C.
• Corrosion inhibition performance with less impact on durability of cement mortar, asphalt pavements and environment.
• Usage of sustainable, renewable and eco-friendly materials.
• Reduced cost of winter road maintenance operations.
Provisional patent application has been filed.