Snow and Ice Chemicals for Texas Roads
Currently, TxDOT districts that use snow and ice chemicals primarily use NaCl or MgCl2 (with or without additives), but often this choice is not based on a quantitative assessment. In addition, the use of natural brines as an inexpensive local source of salts has been proposed by TxDOT. This project will quantify and qualify the relative merits of common snow and ice chemicals used by TxDOT in its maintenance operations as well as natural brines (e.g. Kent County Brine). This project will consider all aspects of these chemicals including effectiveness, availability, environmental concerns, environmental regulations, and impact on infrastructure durability (corrosion). Finally, taking all of these considerations into account, we will evaluate the cost effectiveness of each chemical as a function of intended use and location. The project will consist of a series of literature and best practice reviews, supported by required lab testing where data gaps exist, and further evaluation in a limited field trial. Anticipated outcomes include characterization of the effectiveness and cost of snow and ice control chemicals, including natural brines, for various treatment strategies for Texas roads and weather conditions. We will also explore the durability impacts to infrastructure caused by snow and ice control chemicals and recommendations on how to conduct maintenance operations to minimize corrosion and scaling, as well as current environmental regulatory guidance for snow and ice control chemicals and recommendations on a compliance strategy. Finally, we will develop recommendations on usage, transport, storage, and application rates for snow and ice control chemicals, including natural brines, for various treatment strategies for Texas roads and weather conditions.
Project Researcher: Andrew Jackson
Project Duration: 2012-2013