Are Some De-Icer Claims Full of Baloney?

I really feel the need to re-post a presentation done by Joe Althouse, Chemical Engineer for Occidental Chemical Corporation. I have known Joe for some time now and I have to say, he know’s of what he speaks. If he hasn’t proven the science, he will tell you it isn’t true and give you the details of why or why not something does or doesn’t work. His presentation gives you the “tools” to decide for yourself if deicer claims are fact or fiction Baloney. The one thing I gleaned from the presentation is that if your presented with claims that can’t be backed up with a study, be very careful about the validity of the claim.

It’s that time of year again, we are getting into winter, some have already had their first storms of the season. With that come some really “HUGE” claims of products that just don’t match the science that explains how the different deicers work.

A couple of things to remember before you review Joe’s presentation.

* Any deicing chemical is dependent on four factors to be effective *

1. Surface tempreture

2. Application Rate

3. Amount of Moisture for that Storm Event

4. Beginning Concentration of the Chloride Being Applied.

Do the research, check the product with a Hydrometer. Make sure your getting what you pay for. And, now this is a biggy, remember that Carbohydrates or Sugars Do Not melt anything. They have many other good points. But the fact is, they prevent water from freezing completely, remember the difference between a Popsicle and a Ice Cube. The cube is a solid and the popsicle is in a softer form. It’s still an ice.

Be especially careful when the science used to prove a claim is not left with you. Chlorides have been used for over 100 years to melt snow and ice. The Agricultural By-Products have been around for 20 years or more. Ask for the science to back up the claims. Take the time to read it and check out the resources used to make the claims, are they reputable labs or research collages. If so, go to their sites to back up the claims.

We would be more then happy to provide this information to you and let you keep it for review. Shouldn’t everyone?

Ice Melt Products – Are deicer claims full of baloney

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About Dave Budd

Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, Great Lakes Chloride, Inc. Serving Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. Retired Michigan DOT, October 2010 after 32 years experience in Maintenance/Operations. Specializing in winter operations and liquid de-icers and anti-icers.
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