The Integrated Use of Road Salt Management and Application Techniques

EPA Grant Number: SU835709
Title: The Integrated Use of Road Salt Management and Application Techniques
Investigators: Smyth, Robyn , Cherson, Jeremy , March, Rochelle
Institution: Bard College
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $5,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability

Objective:

(1) Develop Road Salt Management and Application Techniques (RSMAT) to increase the efficiency of road salt application both chemically and mechanically, (2) Create an educational pamphlet outlining the negative impacts of excess deicing and RSMAT, (3) Create a modeling tool based on RSMAT that is broadly accessible and educational

Approach:

Phase 1 includes designing an educational pamphlet with information about implementing RSMAT, as well as general information on the environmental and chemical impacts of road salt. In addition, Phase 1 involves designing an interactive modeling tool that will show users how to implement RSMAT under variable temperature and precipitation. Phase 2 will involve publishing our educational pamphlet and web-based modeling tool, making RSMAT accessible to road salt users looking to increase efficiency and reduce environmental harm.

Expected Results:

We will create an educational pamphlet outlining the reasoning behind RSMAT, as well as the measures that colleges and municipalities can take to reduce overall road salt use. The pamphlet will benefit users by linking citizens to their environment, and by raising awareness of the issues of road salt while maintaining road safety. Further, reducing salt contamination in water will benefit those with sodium-restricted diets. This project will benefit users’ prosperity by increasing the efficiency of road salt application, thereby decreasing the quantity of salt purchased. The project will benefit the environment by decreasing excess road salt in soil and aquatic ecosystems. This pamphlet will be highly transferable, and educate any interested citizens on how RSMAT procedures can make road salt application processes more efficient.

The RSMAT modeling tool will output different recommendations for how, when, and what users should apply to their roads to maximize road salt efficiency with a goal of reducing overall road salt use by 10%, and NaCl specifically by 50%. This aspect of the project will help users reduce road salt use and maximize application efficiency while maintaining road safety. This modeling tool will give them efficient strategies for minimizing the quantity of road salt necessary to safely deice. This tool will be accessible to all road salt users.

Supplemental Keywords:

chloride, rock salt, salinity

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final