” Salt dissolves fairly rapidly in ice, lowering its freezing point in an effect known as freezing point depression, and melting it in the process.”
Salt, or Na-Cl (Chemical abreviation) is often used to melt salt because it lowers the ice’s freezing point so that at the same temprature, if it would normally be frozen (say 32 degree F), it would begin to defreeze. Therefore, any chemical that disolves into the ice’s molecules and has the same “freezing point depression” should have the same effect of melting the snow.
In order to remove ice from roads, two techniques are to use either chemicals or sand. The purpose of the chemical techniques is to raise the freezing temperature of the road, where the purpose of sand is to offer traction. Most common chemicals used are sodium chloride (salt) and calcium chloride. New techniques are also including use of calcium magnesium acetate.
Due to the nature of these chemicals, they are water-soluble and can have a clear effect on the environment. Tho area effected most by the solutions are those within sixty feet of the treated road.
Cities near volcanically active areas also often use cinder to provide traction. Flagstaff, AZ uses cinder exclusively, a much more environmentally-friendly tactic than salt.
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