Understanding the Effectiveness of Non-Chloride Liquid Agricultural By-Products and Solid Complex Chloride/Mineral Products Used in Snow and Ice Control Operations


It has become increasingly common to use agricultural by-products and solid complex chloride/mineral products as additives to deicer products for corrosion inhibition and performance enhancement, or as stand-alone treatments for ice and snow prevention. Manufacturer claims made about these products include freeze depressant qualities, ability to prolong performance of deicers on the road surface, the ability to attract and utilize UV light as an aid to ice prevention, and various environmental benefits. However, the effectiveness of these products and the mechanism by which they work are not well documented.

Potential users need quantifiable research to validate performance and verify the chemical or physical processes by which the products are of value in winter maintenance. This information will also aid agencies in developing better procurement specifications that address the most important attributes for the various product types.


The goal of this project was to determine and document the effectiveness of nine commonly-used non-chloride liquid agricultural by-products and one well-known solid complex chloride/mineral product used in snow and ice control operations. The results will improve the industry’s understanding of the performance and environmental impact of these chemicals. The project included development of better parameters and guidelines for using such products and specifications for the procurement and testing of these products.


The final report contains a Best Practices Manual, which includes the following:

  • Parameters for effective use of agricultural and mineral by-products based on analysis of the existing literature, survey responses, and lab testing.
  • Specifications that can be used in procurement for each product. The specifications will document the measurable properties of the material that are indicators of field performance.
  • Application and storage guidelines.

The final webinar presentation was given on November 19, 2015.