- Investigation of Alternative Deicers – A Look at the Feasibility of Using Potassium Succinate for Roadway Deicing
- Monday, July 23, 2018 - 9:00AM Alaska Time
- Western Transportation Institute
- Montana State University
In this talk we will present the findings of the laboratory analysis of potassium succinate (KSu) for use as a roadway deicer. Laboratory analysis included modified SHRP ice-melting testing, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermograms, and friction measurements to quantify performance. The overall results indicate that the performance of KSu is similar to that of NaCl at improving friction on roadways during snow and ice conditions. The results of the DSC suggest that KSu can be applied as a roadway deicer at ‑5°C (23°F) and above. However, KSu does not function as a deicer at colder temperatures where salt brine will work (the generally agreed upon lowest working temperature for salt brine is 15°F [-9.5°C]). The results of the laboratory testing show that KSu functions as a roadway deicer with slightly lower ice-melting rates than salt brine. The ice-melting rates, DSC, and friction performance testing of KSu show that the product performs as a deicer at warmer temperatures than salt brine, with slightly less ice-melting capacity and similar friction performance. Based on these and previous results showing lack of corrosion in metals, equipment, and pavements from use of KSu and similar BOD of KSu to potassium acetates, KSu appears to be a viable option as a roadway deicer at temperatures at or above -5°C (23°F). Use of KSu as a roadway deicer may be focused in areas where there are concerns about impacts to infrastructure, equipment, or pavements, such as on bridges, elevated roadways, in parking garages, or on newer concrete pavements. Potential concerns with the use of KSu as a roadway deicer are its price, lack of full-scale manufacturing of KSu at this time, and the BOD exerted by the product. Additional testing to fully quantify the environmental impacts of KSu on soil, water, flora, and fauna is recommended. If water quality and BOD are of concern, application of this product is not recommended in large quantities and during times of low water flow.
CESTiCC Associate Director at MSU Laura Fay, M.Sc., is a Research Scientist and the Program Manager for the Winter Maintenance & Effects group at the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University. Mrs. Fay holds a M.S. in Environmental Science and Health from the University of Nevada, Reno and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has a decade of transportation related research experience and a demonstrated publication record in the area of winter maintenance operations and environmental issues related to maintenance operations and materials. Mrs. Fay is an active member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) under the National Academies, serving on the Low Volume Roads Committee (AFB30) and the Winter Maintenance Committee (AHD65), chairing the 2011 TRB Environmental Management of Low Volume Roads Workshop and serving on the technical committee for the 2015 TRB Low Volume Roads Conference. Additionally she is a founding member of the Unpaved Roads Institute (formerly the Road Dust Institute) and has served on the planning committee for the 2008, 2011, and 2014 Road Dust Management Conferences.