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Environmental sciences science fair project:
What kind of deicers work the fastest and damage plant life the least?

Science Fair Project Information
Title: What kind of ice melting products (deicers) work the fastest and damage plant life the least?
Subject: Environmental Sciences
Grade level: Elementary School - Grades 4-6
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 2nd place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2010
Description: Ice melting products were poured onto ice cubes; melting time was recorded. Bean seeds were watered with different diluted deicers, plant development was recorded over time. Crocus plants' leaves were sprayed with diluted products; leaves' condition and plant development were recorded over time.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2010/macdxd2
Short Background

Toxicity of Deicing Fluids

The toxicity of deicing fluids is an environmental concern, and research is underway to find less toxic alternatives. For example, the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is currently studying a chemical known as METSS ADF-2. Other strategies can be used to minimize the environmental impact such as collecting used fluid and using the maximum dilution consistent with safety. In 2009 the first use of a biological-based deice fluid was announced. Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline announced that it would be using a Kilfrost product containing 1,3-propanediol, a fermentation product of corn

More recently, organic compounds have been developed that reduce the environmental issues connected with salts and have longer residual effects when spread on roadways, usually in conjunction with salt brines or solids. These compounds are generated as byproducts of agricultural operations such as sugar beet refining or the distillation process that produces ethanol. Additionally, mixing common rock salt with some of the organic compounds and magnesium chloride results in spreadable materials that are both effective to much colder temperatures (-30F/-34C) as well as at lower overall rates of spreading per unit area.

For More Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deicing

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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