Army Developing New Deicer - Snow Magazine

2022-09-24 07:58:47 By : Ms. Shelly Chuang

Once available for commercial use, the new product could replace chloride-based deicers, alleviating impact on equipment, infrastructure, and the environment.

The US Army is developing a low-cost, non-corrosive, chlorine-free deicer to protects its vehicles and equipment from road salt damage. And if successful, the new deicer would not only save taxpayers billions of dollars, but also provide a replacement for chloride-based deicing products for the commercial snow and ice management industry. The new chemical technology, being developed in partnership with Richland, Wash.-based OCOchem, is intended to protect military base roads, vehicles, and the environment; and could potentially save U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars annually. OCOchem has developed a cost-effective process to create non-corrosive potassium formate deicer using inexpensive, and recycled carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, water, potassium sulfate, and clean electricity. While other potassium formate deicers exist and are used widely from airports to home use, they are made from fossil fuels. OCOchem's process greatly reduces the price by using abundant recycled CO2. In August, OCOchem built the first large scale prototype-scale mobile Carbon Flux Electrolyzer that produces potassium formate in a ready-to-use liquid brine formulation for use as a corrosion-free deicer. The formate electrolyzer can fit on the back of a military vehicle, making it directly accessible to bases throughout the world. In addition to save taxpayers more than $100 billion per year through reduced corrosion, maintenance, and replacement costs currently caused by using chloride-based deicers, this technology, according to OCOchem estimates, also:

Once produced to scale – and if adopted broadly for military and commercial use – the new deicer could replace the use of chloride-based deicing salts and save state and local governments more than $100 billion in annual corrosion-related road, bridge and equipment maintenance costs, as well as help safeguard the environment and water supplies from chloride contamination. U.S. military facilities throughout the world rely on deicers to keep their bases operational and mission ready 24/7. However, the most common de-icing chemicals used today, due to their historically lower costs, are chloride-based salts. These salts, though, have been linked to infiltration and damage to the surrounding environment and infrastructure after they are applied, dissolved, and dispersed, said OCOchem’s Todd Brix, co-founder and chief executive, in a statement. For example, in 2016, corrosion cost the U.S. Department of Defense nearly $21 billion in 2011, according to a report issued by the General Accounting Office. Beyond the U.S. Army and Department of Defense, the annual estimated economic cost of the negative effects of chloride-based de-icing chemicals exceeds $100 billion in the civilian economy of the United States. It is also the primary cause of the $561 billion the United States spends annually on addressing corrosion issues, according to NACE International. "The potential impact of this novel lower-cost carbon-neutral deicing manufacturing process delivers a triple benefit to national defense readiness, civilian customers, and the environment," Brix said. "We are excited to continue our efforts to further scale our formate electrolyzer technology to a commercial-ready system for the U.S. Army so that the new low-cost corrosion-free deicer can be used at U.S. military bases throughout the world and be deployed in the civilian sector to more affordably enhance safe travel and to protect and extend the longevity of our natural and built environment." Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine.

Managing insurmountable labor issues? Try refocusing on the “employee experience” for better hiring and retention results within your snow and ice ops?

Strategies for hiring and retaining workers from the frontline to the back office was top of mind among this year’s Executive Summit attendees. Everyone is seeking that special key to unlock workforce stability among their ranks this winter.

I came across a really interesting idea on labor retention that I needed to share with the snow and ice community. I follow Dan Schawbel’s Workplace Intelligence Weekly on LinkedIn, and his recent enewsletter features a conversation with Melina Cormier, VP Growth at LumApps, which focuses on the employee experience.

Cormier shares some key takeaways from LumApps’ new report, Attract, Engage and Retain: The Employee Experience Advantage. Grab a copy by CLICKING HERE. It’ll just cost you your email address to get the whitepaper in your inbox.

So, what the heck is the “employee experience?” It’s defined as the sum of all the interactions employees have across the difference touchpoints in their day-to-day work lives, which many business leaders believe this is a direct link to overall business success and carries as much weight as the customer/client experience. Makes sense, right?

One concept Cormier touches on is that business leaders must realize employee expectations have been drastically reshaped in recent years and during the ongoing Great Resignation. Job seekers aren’t just looking for new jobs. Rather, they’re seeking options that include better perks and benefits, hybrid work models and greater flexibility.

She says: “Employees have taken the time to reflect on what they want from their careers, and many are deciding to change jobs or abandon the workforce entirely. The clock is running out for organizations to persuade their workers to stay — but they are persuadable if employers can get to them in time.

“The largest misconception regarding employee experience is that the employee lifecycle is linear,” Cormier adds. “Most people believe that only new hires are highly engaged, and this engagement slowly decreases until they quit a few years later — but this couldn’t be further from reality. In actuality, an employee’s lifecycle in a company is more like a rollercoaster, made up of key moments ranging from onboarding and performance appraisals to relocation, maternity leave, and more.”

She sums it up by suggesting that smarter investments that addresses these notions can have a significant impact on the employee experience, and thus help mitigate key employee loss and improve your chances of attracting key talent.

Definitely, this is some food for thought.

Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine.

Compact, rugged and packed with features, these versatile machines are targeted for contractors of all experience levels.

New Massachusetts law prohibits employee discrimination based on natural hairstyle.

In July, Massachusetts joined 17 other states in prohibiting racial discrimination based on an individual’s natural hairstyle. Passed unanimously by state legislators,The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act -- otherwise known as the “Crown Act” -- bans discrimination based upon natural and protective hairstyles in workplaces, school districts, and in public accommodations such as hotels, stores, and restaurants. The Crown Act also prohibits discrimination based upon natural and protective hairstyles in housing and lending. Specifically, the Crown Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person's hair texture or hairstyles which include, but are not limited to, braids, lock twists, and Bantu knots. Employers should be aware that employees who establish workplace discrimination based upon their natural and protective hairstyles may be entitled to recover economic and compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees, according to a recent article authored by Freeman, Mathis & Gary attorneys Jennifer Markowski, R. Victoria Fuller, and Matthew Mattie. (Read the entire article here: Employers should immediately update their handbooks and ensure that supervisors are aware of this important amendment to the Fair Employment Practice Act. A similar bill was passed by the United States House of Representatives earlier this year but has yet to be decided on by the US Senate, and is pending in Alaska. States that have already adopted the Crown Act include:

De-icing sprayer includes a host features for more efficient brine spraying.

Some new product news from Hilltip in time for the 2022-23 winter season. The Findland-based snow and ice equipment manufacturer, which entered the North American market in 20202, announced it now offers its SprayStriker 2600 sprayer for de-icing and anti-icing applications and claims it's the "most efficient truck-mounted brine sprayer on the market."

Here are some specs about the SprayStriker 2600 to help back up that claim:

And like all SprayStriker sprayers, the 2600 includes Hilltip’s exclusive HTrack tracking software. This system, according to Hilltip, offers the industry’s only two-way GPRS capability. This allows users to create work sites, set customized application rates, monitor drivers, and document all activities remotely using a computer, smartphone or tablet. The unique technology offers unmatched benefits for both managers and drivers in the winter maintenance business. Other standard features of the SprayStriker 2600 include a 2-inch camlock inlet for filling the sprayer, an additional rinse tank for cleaning the spray system after each use, and built-in tie-down straps for strapping the unit to the truck. It is also equipped with an accessory wire for powering the optional beacon light. Other options include a manual spray nozzle with a 40-foot hose reel, adjustable leg stands, and solenoids on the end nozzles. Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine.