Salt is used to de-ice roads during winter storms in order to provide safe driving conditions. However, recent research has associated it with gradual but decidedly negative impacts on the surrounding environment. Road salt runoff increases water salinity creating a toxic environment for aquatic plants and animals. Salt can also leach into roadside soil thus damaging nearby vegetation. Finally, salt corrodes metal infrastructure including bridge decks and piping systems. These many externalities end up costing society much more than salt's buying price.
Team MELTS seeks to produce an eco-friendly de-icer that can replace road salt. We will explore various non-toxic chemical products to compose de-icing mixtures that show potential. Then, we will put our mixtures through a series of lab tests to quantify their effectiveness and environmental safety.
Right now we are beginning our preliminary testing, but we need your help to purchase the chemicals and machinery necessary to continue our research. Please consider making a gift to our project today and together we can get rid of road salt for good!
Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.
Choose a giving level
We need beakers to hold our de-icing solutions and conduct our many experimental tests. Your donation will help us purchase these beakers
Our team will be investigating how different chemical de-icers effect metals in order to quantify impact on infrastructure. A donation of $50 will supply team MELTS with the funds to buy stainless steel washers for our corrosion testing.
To create a novel de-icer our team must research many types of chemicals from salt to acetates to beet juice. Your generous donation will help us purchase these necessary building blocks of our de-icing mixtures.