Science

Adding BEET 55™ to salt brine has several benefits. Generally speaking, all deicers work the same way — they lower the freezing point of water. The strength of a deicer, and the difference between deicers, is determined by how much solid is dissolved in the ice melt. The more solid is dissolved in the deicer — the colder it will melt snow and ice.

Every deicing salt has a maximum solubility. Just like adding sugar to water when your kids make Kool-Aid — you can add sugar and stir to dissolve, but at some point, the sugar won't dissolve and forms a sludge at the bottom of the container. This is the saturation point and no more sugar will dissolve. For a salt brine solution, this saturation point is about 23 percent and the coldest temperature this solution can reach before freezing is –6° Farenheit. So what if you need the salt brine to work at a colder temperature?

While the solution is saturated in salt, you can still dissolve some other solids — like BEET 55™ — in the saturated brine. This increases the solid content and lowers the freeze point, creating a more powerful deicing solution.

Adding the BEET 55™ provides two other advantages. The presence of BEET 55™ changes the way ice crystals form when freezing occurs. The ice formed in the presence of BEET 55™ is softer — creating a slush rather than a hard-pack ice. This makes it easier for road crews to plow the accumulated snow. The less snow on the roadway then requires lower application rates of salt brine to create a bare and wet surface.

The final advantage of adding BEET 55™ to salt brine is that when added at higher concentrations the BEET 55™ will act as a crystallization inhibitor — it inhibits the onset of ice crystal formation. This can provide highway crews more time to respond to changing weather conditions and apply deicer to keep roadways safe.

Husker Plus™ is an enhanced version of BEET 55™, designed to add to salt brine for winter highway deicing. Husker Plus™ is similar to BEET 55™ but contains higher concentrations of dissolved active deicing materials.

Higher concentrations of active deicer melts more ice per pound at a given temperature and provides lower freeze points. The lower freeze point of Husker Plus™ allows DOTs to delay the transition from liquid deicer to solid abrasives as storm temperatures drop. This can lower the cost of storm response and provide higher levels of service to the public.

Similar to adding BEET 55™ to brine, Husker Plus™ changes the way ice crystals form when freezing occurs. The ice formed in the presence of Husker Plus™ is softer — creating a slush rather than a hard-pack ice. This makes it easier for road crews to plow the accumulated snow. Less snow on the roadway requires lower application rates of salt brine to create a bare and wet surface.

Husker Plus™ also acts as a crystallization inhibitor, retarding the onset of ice crystal formation. It is also formulated with proprietary additives that improve the persistency of the deicing product on the roadway surface compared to un-enhanced salt brine. This provides a "residual effect" on the roadway that provides an added margin of safety against black ice formation.