I truly appreciate comments from folks that take the time to read my post. I had a couple of comments recently from David S., regarding the Mixing of Calcium Chloride w/BOOST and salt brine. David questions the fact that Beet Juice, mixed with brine reduces the sodium content proportionately to the amount of Beet Juice added. He claims that the when you measure specific gravity in increases it’s melting capacity.
I’m sorry David, I have to disagree. We have done the testing and field work that disproves your statement. You would have to test the primary ingredients (sodium chloride) in the brine mix too, just to measure specific gravity, you measure the weight of the dissolved solids in the liquid. As you know, Beet Juice uses carbohydrates to keep ice in a glassy state, think popsicle as compared to an ice cube, it doesn’t actually melt snow and ice. Not to mention it becomes viscous the colder the temperature outdoors. This causes real problems for pumping equipment. I have witnessed that issue first hand.
David also questions environmental issues with Calcium Chloride or Calcium Chloride w/BOOST. When applied to sidewalks and roadways you are using around .004/gallon per square yard. Much less the amount of salt or Beet Juice product required to do the same job. I have witnessed that as well.
The above Photo is a perfect example of Beet Juice, mixed with salt brine used as a pre-wet on salt, compared to rock salt, pre-wetted with CaCl2 w/BOOST. The bare pavement is brine from the State route, being tracked around the corner as compared to the Beet Juice treated salt on the City street approaching the intersection. I have also witnessed loads of salt in the salt hoppers freeze in 3 degree weather, when treat with salt / Beet Juice add mixture. Not just one truck but in all trucks that were working. It’s tough to provide a service to your customers when your trying to chip salt blocks out of the back of your plow truck!!!
As far as Environmental issues David, you may want to check the phosphorous level in the Beet Juice products you are selling. It is my experience that Beet Juice can not meet the PNS standards for phosphorous levels released in the environment. As I’m sure you know, phosphorous, once in the environment is hazardous to lakes and streams.
As a final thought, I wanted to review a few Beet Juice Myths:
MYTH : Beet juice products are environmentally safe.
- According to Stormwater magazine, beet juice products may have a high phosphorus level. Relatively small amounts of phosphorus can have a drastic adverse affect on aquatic ecosystems. One consequence has led to recent recommendations from lake associations that lawn fertilizer applied at lake front homes be phosphorus free. Another issue may be an increase in biological oxygen demand (BOD) from run off of beet juice products into the receiving waters. As the unrefined organic material from beet juice breaks down in a body of water, oxygen is consumed. This increase in BOD can produce low oxygen conditions in these waters. Environments most likely to be affected are pools, wetlands, and small lakes.
MYTH : Beet juice added to liquid chloride of choice lowers corrosion.
- Beet juice vendors claim their corrosion test results show that when beet juice is added to sodium chloride brine corrosiveness is reduced 50% (+/-). PNS testing found the corrosion rate effectiveness of BOOST to be at a minimum 80% less corrosive than sodium chloride (rock salt).
MYTH : Beet juice products reduce chloride use.
- Some beet juice product vendors make this claim on the one hand, but recommend some of the highest application rates (up to 60 gallons per lane mile) on the other hand. Combine this with their recommended blend rate of 1 part beet juice to 1 part liquid chloride (also one of the highest suggested) and you end up with up to 60 gallons of chloride per mile. Our recommended rate for BOOST application is as low as 15 gallons per lane mile.
MYTH : Beet juice products provide monetary savings.
- In fact, at recently quoted prices of over $2.00 per gallon, beet juice products are more than twice the cost of BOOST. Additionally, beet juice products when mixed with sodium chloride brine have nearly 40% less active ingredient than BOOST (23% vs. 32%). When PRICE and PERFORMANCE are evaluated, BOOST is by far the better option.
MYTH : Calcium chloride based products will soon be limited or banned from use as deicers.
- This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, calcium chloride has been in use for over 100 years. GLC’s calcium chloride originates from an underground ocean of natural brine beneath northwestern Michigan. It then is processed and concentrated. Calcium chloride is widely used for dust control and base stabilization. It is also used in many food products such as olives, pickles, bottled water, canned potatoes, sugar-free jelly, to name a few. Of note, it is also used as an actual component in many plant fertilizer blends.
GLC previously marketed a corrosion-inhibited calcium chloride that utilized beet juice as the inhibitor. Due to problems with quality and consistency of the beet juice additive, the product was discontinued. GLC then moved on to the next generation of corrosion-inhibited calcium chloride, BOOST, a product that exhibits both high quality and consistent performance.
We hope this allows you to better evaluate the liquid products that you use to battle ice and snow. It is GLC’s intention to offer you one of the best liquid deicers on the market today, BOOST, (http://www.glchloride.com) at a competitive price.
Thank you again for your comments David S., I am always happy to discuss de-icing liquids with the folks who read my Blog.