WSU research reveals grape skins may help sustain winter roadways

A team of researchers from Washington State University has discovered that grape skins could be the key in a new deicer that is more environmentally friendly than deicers currently being used. Road salt is the most common deicer and has been shown to include chemicals that corrode metals, asphalt, concrete, and can pose risks to aquatic species. WSU researchers hope that grape skin additive may provide a greener alternative.

This grape extract-based deicer provides that alternative method. Research shows that the solution causes significantly less damage to asphalt and concrete and exposes nearby water bodies to fewer risks. The grape-extract based solution also melts ice faster than the other deicers.

Xianming Shi, associate professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate student Mehdi Honarvar Nazari are two of the researchers leading the project. Their deicer, which includes grape extract, performed better than road salt and another deicer solution made from salt brine and beet juice. Their results were published in the December issue of the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering.

Xianming Shi Lab Voiland