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Minnesota Department of Transportation
As an alternative for snow and ice control; potassium acetate (KAc) has potential advantages compared with salt and brine--reduction of chlorides entering receiving waters; a lower effective deicing temperature; and reduction in corrosion impacts--but success in the field has been largely anecdotal. MnDOT District 1 worked with an investigator team to test KAc applied on four plow routes in the Duluth; Minnesota; area over the 2018-2019 winter season. Field trials protocols and data collection methods and forms were established to capture the following data during winter storms: vehicles and routes; material used; application rates; frequency; and timing; weather conditions; and pavement conditions. Due to issues beyond the control of MnDOT or the research team involving process gaps and data availability; a quantitative assessment of KAc could not be completed for this study. However; interviews with field crews yielded a wealth of useful observations and practical recommendations in the areas of training; liquid and sand concentrations; vehicles and equipment; snow removal procedures; application rates; and environmental concerns. The investigators also developed process recommendations for improving the chances of success for similar types of research studies in the future..
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