How much salt is used each year in the United States?

By | October 22nd, 2015|Salt, Snow Removal|

According to the Salt Institute the United States applied roughly 17,000,000 tons of road salt during the winter of 2013-2014. Other reports say that more than 20,000,000 tons of salt are applied on our roadways every winter.

To put that into perspective, that equates to:

  • 124lbs of salt per person in the United States (there are 322 million)
  • 158lbs of salt for every car or truck on the road in the US (there are 253 million)
  • ~15x more salt than is used each year by the entire US food processing industry (source)

What are deicers?

By | October 22nd, 2015|Salt, Snow Removal|

Simply put, deicers melt ice.

In practice, there are two fundamental concepts that explain how deicers work to melt ice:

  • What is ice?
  • How does it melt?

What is Ice?Melting_curve_of_water

Ice is frozen water.  It looks like a brittle, transparent crystalline solid.  Ice molecules can exhibit up to sixteen different phases (packing geometries) that depend on temperature and pressure.  You probably didn’t know that.  Another important thing to know is that when there is ice there is water.  Even though it may not be visible, molecular water […]