Word has started to hit the street that Calcium Chloride will be in short supply this coming season. Major manufacturers like Dow and Occidental have already informed their customers that Calcium Chloride will be on allocation. This means that not all orders will be fulfilled. Finding an affordable supply of Calcium Chloride will be a challenge this fall and winter. Calcium Chloride (CaCl) is a very common ice melter product that is known for its fast melting power down to very low temperatures. It is also will known for having some major drawbacks including a short shelf life, requiring more applications than other ice melters, leaving an oily residue behind and being dangerous to people, pets, & the environment. Many customers will be looking for quality alternatives that effectively melt ice that are not sodium based. XYNYTH Manufacturing has two solutions for customers who find themselves in this conundrum. Mountain Organic Natural™ Icemelter and GroundWorks Natural™ Icemelter are perfect alternatives to Calcium Chloride. Not only are they much safer and cleaner, the required usage is only half that of Calcium for the same results. The restrictions on supply will drive up the price causing many to look at cheaper options of Calcium. For those that are more focused on the lower melting temperature and fast action of Calcium over the environmental concerns. This is perfect timing to try our new Arctic Orange™ Icemelter product. The new formulation is designed to work fast and hot like Calcium but will last long longer then pure Calcium Chloride.
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With the declining supply of road salt and the higher prices, many communities are switching to a more cost efficient, and yet environmentally friendly solution.
Beat juice, apparently, is a very Eco-friendly solution to deicing the dangerous winter road conditions, not to mention cost efficient as well. Although this concept isn’t new, more and more communities are adapting to this method. Road salts, originally thought to be cheap, come with many consequences such as the damage done to wildlife including poison to fish, damage to aquatic wildlife, and harmful to sensitive vegetation. Other detriments include damage to concrete and metals. On the other hand, beet juice can provide an effective performance to temperatures dropping as low as -25ºC or approximately -13ºF.
- Adding beet juice to salt brine — even at a 20% concentration — does not increase the salt brine’s ice-melting properties or decrease the temperature at which it is effective.
- Beet juice reduces the friction of a salt brine solution by 10% – 20%. This translates to slicker roads and more dangerous driving conditions.
- 25% beet juice concentration is required to lower salt brine’s corrosion score to meet PNS specifications. However, it will also reduce the brine’s ice melting properties. So when beet juice is used as a corrosion inhibitor, application rates should be increased in direct proportion to the amount of beet juice added. Higher concentrations of beet juice also mean higher costs.
It is important to note that beet juice is not a substitute for road salt, but serve as a complimentary resource. It can reduce the salt usage from 85kg per lane km to just 79 kg per lane km, which can effectively save about $2 per lane km. But even beet juice isn’t completely innocuous. Adding it to water can have an impact says “Organic matter—anything from leaves to amino acids—anything carbon based that breaks down, needs to consume oxygen,” Oxygen-depleted water can also come at an environmental cost, killing animal and plant life. In one of the most extreme cases of oxygen depletion, known as hypoxia, more than 22,000 square km in the Gulf of Mexico lost much of its commercial fishing industry. The beets, which have a high concentration of sucrose, are grown commercially as a sweetener. However, the sugar must be removed for the juice to be sold as a de-icing agent. “If sugared, you are going to pull animals to the roadway,” “If it is sugared and you store it, it will ferment like beer.”
As the environment is of such importance to many cities, environmental icemelters. Mountain Organic Natural™ Icemelter is a fertilizer based icemelter that is effective to -23ºC or approximate 9ºF. It is safe on the vegetation, landscaping, children, pets and the water systems. Also Winter Warrior Runway Control™ is totally Chloride and Urea free which means that it will not damage concrete or metal. As opposed to Beet Juice that you need to mix with salt brine, Mountain Organic Natural™ Icemelter & Winter Warrior Runway Control™ do not require to be mixed with any other product allowing Cities to receive and begin using the product right away.
Strategies for Dealing with Roof Ice
No, that is not the sound of reindeer on your roof making an extra stop on their way back to the North Pole. That creaking sound may be sign your roof has too much weight from snow and ice on it. We are often asked by customers if our products are safe to use on their roof. The answer is yes. Products like Mountain Organic Natural™ Icemelter & GroundWorks Natural™ Icemelter are both safe to use on most roofs. Some key points to keep in mind when deciding which product to use are to consider where the melted run off will going. If the run off will be going into plants & vegetation, concrete, or an area where children or pets are, you will want to use a safe, proven, and effective product such as our GroundWorks Natural™ Icemelter If sensitive metal is at risk of corrosion, then using a chloride free product like Winter Warrior Runway Control® is an ideal product to use. For more info on how to apply the product and some important tips, please see this article – ICE DAMS & ROOFS – in the XYNYTH Ice Melt Resource Center.
ICE MELTER AND PROTECTING OUR WATER SYSTEMS
It has long been established that the use of rock salt has negative effects on the environment. In fact there are documented cases of contamination to drinking water and complete destruction of aquatic Eco systems due to excessive salt use. Samples from a storm sewer near Toronto had recorded levels 140 times over the limit set by the provincial Government. Both Environment Canada and the Environment Protection Agency in the U.S. have done studies and are working on solutions to manage this problem. The salt and other chemicals get into the water system through a number of direct and indirect ways. Once the salt gets into the Eco system, there is no way of removing it. It can only be diluted over time. This can be very problematic for sensitive Eco systems that have a slow turnover of fresh water such as natural and even artificial ponds.
The best solution for this matter is to take preventative measures. XYNYTH Manufacturing has developed 3 products that are ideal to address this issue. GroundWorks Natural Icemelter™ and Mountain Organic Natural Icemelter™ were among the first environmentally friendly ice melt products to be introduced. These are fertilizer based icemelters, making them an ideal alternative for Eco sensitive areas. Because they contain potassium chloride, the run off will actually feed the plants. This ultimately means less sodium chloride will get into the water supply.
It should be noted that icemelters containing urea should be strictly avoided around water ways. Urea contains nitrogen and breaks down to ammonia in the environment, which is extremely toxic to aquatic life, even in small doses.
XYNYTH has recently introduced a new product called Winter Warrior Runway Control™. This product is completely chloride free and urea free. While it was initially designed for runway use, being that it is completely non-corrosive and federally approved, it is also ideal for use around sensitive water systems.
It is important to not associate all “pet friendly” icemelters with fish friendly products. Some products like Safe-t-Pet™ or Safe Paw™ are made with urea. While urea is usually safe around animals, it is deadly to aquatic life.
A little chloride is not so bad, as it seems to be well known by owners of fish ponds that adding some chlorides can be beneficial to act as water softeners and help reduce parasites. Some experts also recommend using potassium based chlorides as they have some benefits to fish. For best results consult your local expert.