There's a bit of a chill to the air today. In fact, the weatherman said we could see some sn, sn, snow (there! I said it) this evening. With that in mind my thoughts quickly turn to shoveling snow, driving in snow, and getting stuck in the snow. The Free Press is featuring an article on a snow removal system from Denmark called EPOKE that reduces the amount of salt required to keep the roads free of snow and ice. With salt prices increasing around 30% this year it has become a priority to not use as much salt, but keep the roads safe too.
Basically the EPOKE system is an add-on to the traditional salt trucks. A grinder crushes the rock salt into a fine powder. Then, brine from the on-board brine tank is added to the salt powder as it exits the spreader. This mixture creates a paste that sticks to the icy road and melts the ice faster.
Sounds interesting. This system has been around for over 30 years in Europe and it is already used at airports across the U.S. We're just now seeing it adopted by municipalities here because the cost of road salt has finally reached the point where it is cost effective to purchase the EPOKE system.