Volume 39, Issue 6 (November 2011)
Laboratory Investigation into Interactions Among Chemicals Used for Snow and Ice Control
Recent years have seen increased use of chemicals for snow and ice control both on roadways and at airports. One relatively new concern has been the potential chemical and physical reactions among different deicer formulations. This issue has significant operational and safety implications and thus was the focus of this laboratory investigation. When allowed to sit without stirring at room temperature, precipitates formed in the blend solutions of reagent-grade magnesium chloride with acetate- or formate-based deicers. When a magnesium-chloride-based deicer was used in place of its reagent-grade counterpart, precipitates did not form in its blend solutions with a sodium acetate deicer or a potassium formate deicer, but the solutions were milky in appearance. In light of the Fourier transform infrared and solubility data, the precipitates consist of magnesium acetate tetrahydrate or magnesium formate dihydrate formed by chemical reaction, along with additives from the parent solutions.