Making of Salt Potpourri


Snow melting with Salt

Water has a freezing point at 32 degrees F. If the temperature drops below 32 degrees F, the hydrogen bonds between the water molecules strengthen and the molecules form a crystalline structure. If the temperature rises above the freezing point, the ice changes to liquid, as the bonds between the H2O molecules break and the structure becomes fluid. Road salt, also known as sodium chloride, lowers the freezing point of the water, causing it to melt even if the temperature is below the normal freezing point of water. When salt is applied to the water, it breaks down into sodium and chloride ions. As the ions break the hydrogen bonds, the water melts into water. However, sodium chloride is much less effective at reducing pavement temperature below 15 degrees. For low temperatures, it is best to use salt formulated for lower temperatures that contains magnesium chloride or calcium chloride.

Salt is composed of three different types of ions: MgCl2, CaCl2, and NaCl. NaCl is composed of two different types of ions. The higher the number of ions, the greater the melting power, as more ions are available to break water molecules’ bonds. The use of salt is essential for the removal of snow and ice from roadways, parking areas, sidewalks, driveways, and other surfaces. However, the use of salt isn’t without consequences. Every year, our local lakes and rivers become increasingly saltier. When rain falls on salted streets and other surfaces, it carries salt with it to storm drains that feed directly into rivers. Winter road salt has a negative impact on the water quality in these rivers, and can even harm fish and other aquatic insects. Therefore, it is important to use no more salt than necessary to remove snow and ice.

S.K.S.C.NADARAJAN & BROR. Salt company since 1942

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