Thursday, 5 February 2009

Wine De-icer?

I was listening to the radio reports on the snowy weather and somebody rang into Hereford & Worcester Radio to say that in Germany they are not allowed to put salt on their roads when snow and ice were forecast, but instead they sprayed wine on! The caller claimed it helped to utilise up the wine mountain.

This intrigued me as I couldn't figure out how this would work as wine DOES freeze. The only information I could uncover was a company who used the by-products of commercial brewing and wine making as a new product to keep roads snow and ice free in the USA. It is called Ice Ban Magic and was popular in the late 1990s with a number of local public works officials as a cheaper, more effective and environmentally friendly alternative to straight salt and sand.

Many towns in snowy parts of the country are trying to cut down on their use of road salt. Not only does the salt cause corrosion of vehicles, it also has environmental effects when the the snow melts and salty water runs off into streams, rivers, and lakes. One alternative to salt is sand, which does not melt highway ice but does help to increase traction. The disadvantage of sand is that unless it is cleaned up at the end of the season, it tends to clog drainage pipes, channels, and streams.

Ice Ban Magic is a biodegradable liquid similar to molasses and can be spread directly on roads or mixed with sand or road salt. However it doesn't look as if it has taken off to any great degree.

Does anyone know any more about the subject?

1 comment:

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