Salting Roads

The Solution for Winter Driving

Article Summary:

Icy roads during the winter can be danger, so in order to keep drivers safe, highway workers use the chemistry of different salts. Different types of salt lower the freezing temperature of water. They do this by interrupting the crystal lattice that forms when the water molecules slow down or get cooler. This science can be used to melt existing ice or to prevent ice from forming. Melting existing ice is possible because the molecules at the surface of the are not very stable allowing the salt to again interrupt the ice's structure. Also, different types of salt change the freezing point to different temperatures. This has to do with the amount of dissolved particles. The amount of salt does cause concern for the environment however there has been many innovations to help reduce the damage and the amount of salt.

Chemistry Involved:

It all has to do with the crystal structure that is formed when water molecules slow down. If one adds other particles to the water creating a solution, the extra particles make it harder to form the crystal lattice which is what is considered frozen.

My Thoughts:

I thought this article was very interesting and informative. I learned more about the chemistry of how salt melts ice. Nothing really surprised me, but I would like to explore the different devices used to spread ice.