Best Deicing Substance Memorandum

Topics: Sodium chloride, Sodium, Calcium chloride Pages: 3 (790 words) Published: November 27, 2005


Subject: Calcium Chloride Best Purchase for Deicing

Enclosures: (1) Data Record
(2) Data Treatment
(3) Environment Impact Research

After hours of vigorous examination, we have come to the conclusion that calcium chloride (CaCl2) would be the best deicer to use on a naval base over sodium chloride (NaCl) and ethylene glycol (C2H6O2).

In order to melt ice, deicers lower the freezing point so that the ice melts at lower temperatures. CaCl2 has a freezing point depression of 5°C, whereas NaCl has only a 3°C depression, and ethylene glycol, 1.85°C. The more the freezing point can be lowered, the faster the ice will melt, and more effectively. The reason to look at this is due to the fact that NaCl decomposes around 20°F, whereas CaCl2 can withstand temperatures as low as -20°F. Therefore the freezing point depression of NaCl would have to be 40° to take the effect that CaCl2 may. Ethylene glycol barely lowers the freezing point, which could be a problem. CaCl2 would quickly and effectively remove ice from needed areas due to its freezing point depression.

Also, using CaCl2 over ice proved that the rate to melt the ice was quicker than adding NaCl or ethylene glycol to ice. In a time span of 6 minutes, out of 10g of ice 3.3g had melted with NaCl, which is a 33% melt. Also out of 10g of ice, 5.2g of CaCl2 had melted which is a 50.2% melt. 5.7g of ethylene glycol had melted in 6 minutes, which gave a 57% melting yield. So overall, CaCl2 and ethylene glycol can melt ice at/around the same rate, but due to the freezing point depression of ethylene glycol, it is not as effective as CaCl2 under extreme conditions.

The environment impact of the three deicers is mostly what this all comes down to. There is no reason to destroy our environment or humanity if we can find a way around it. NaCl may be soluble in water, and may not chemically attack concrete, but the sodium ion in NaCl is toxic to vegetation, as well...
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