The Winter is cruel to our beloved motorcars. Not only is it dark, damp, and slippery, but a lot of us have to compete with the masses of salt that’s put down on the road. And while it sounds like not such an issue, salt can very quickly take its toll on the underside of your car, turning what precious metal you have into rust. Thankfully, some very clever chaps and chappesses have come up with another idea.
Grapes, well, technically grape skin, has been found to be just as efficient as traditional de-icers and salt in regards to getting rid of surface ice on roads. Washington State University have led this investigation, with the objective of removing potentially harmful chlorides from the environment. In a paper published by the WSU reseach team titled, ‘Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering’, they state that “Every year, roughly 27 million tons of road salt (sodium chloride), is used on USA roadways for winter maintenance. The chlorides do not degrade in the environment and may pose long term environmental risks.”
Currently, the chemicals used most commonly are corrosive on not only our cars, but the road surfaces, too, and will damage the soils it eventually gets washed into. Recently beet juice has been added to reduce the environmental impact, but it’s been found that when this hits water, it reduces its oxygen concentration which is damaging to water-life.
The team has realised that when their grape extract undergoes the process of chemical degradation and fermentation, it melts ice faster than traditional methods and causes less damage, while also being more environmentally friendly.
We’d really appreciate that because one, save the animals etc etc etc, but also rust is a pain in my ass.
Source: Traffic Technology Today