Road Salt Ice Research Papers

776 Words4 Pages
Science Fair Research Salt trucks pour road salt on the icy roads in the winter. Have you ever wondered why? Ice is made when the temperature drops to 32° Fahrenheit (or 0° Celsius) and water solidifies into a smooth, slippery sheet of ice. Ice is formed from individual ice crystals from snow that is collected into one space. A solid, such as ice, contains particles that are not flowing freely and have their own defined space. All particles, even in solids, vibrate, but how fast they move depends on the amount of energy they have. That energy is measured in terms of temperature, or average kinetic energy, of the solid. When a solid is warm, its energy is greater and its particles move faster. When a solid is cold, the opposite is true,…show more content…
Salt (NaCl) is primarily an electrically neutral crystalline substance produced by the reaction of a base—sodium—and an acid—chloride. Salt is technically formed when a cation (a positively charged ion) combines with an anion (a negative ion) to become electrically neutral. Salt causes freezing point depression when combined with ice. In order for salt to begin the melting process, it must come in contact with water. Fortunately, a thin film of water can generally be found on top of ice and snow. As the top layer of water tries to freeze the salt gets in the way. The total number of water molecules captured by the ice per second goes down, therefore the rate of freezing goes down. The melting occurs faster than the freezing because it is not affected by the salt. Other foreign materials can also melt ice. Salt is commonly used on roads because it is cheap and easy to obtain. Sugar (C12H22O11) is known as sucrose, a combination of fructose and glucose. It is a carbohydrate that contains 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen. Sugar molecules arrange themselves into sugar crystals. Sugar can also cause freezing point depression and lowers the freezing point of water the same way salt does. It isn 't generally used on roads because it is more costly than salt. However, sugar does not hurt the environment like salt does if it gets into waterways. Sugar could potentially be a great ice

More about Road Salt Ice Research Papers

Open Document