Road crews around the country are preparing for winter weather by running preparedness drills and stocking up on road treatment products.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) added a new product to their lineup for dealing with ice and snow on the roadways, one that includes a corn-based compound.

"We added another road treatment option to our winter operations," says MODOT St. Louis Maintenance Engineer, Mark Croarkin. "The corn-based portion of the product is a carrier for Magnesium Chloride. There are similar products that result in an approximately 2% Magnesium Chloride treated salt that use other base materials.  These products typically cost a little more to mix, but they can be more effective."

Croarkin says the corn-based product MODOT started using goes by IceBan® M20 or IceBan® 300.

"If I was trying to quantify I would estimate the IceBan® treated material is about 25% more effective overall," says Croarkin. "The benefits we have seen depend on the temperature; the colder the storm the better results."

According to AJP Corporations website, "Ice Ban® is a natural liquid concentrate residue from the wet milling of corn and the production of alcohol. Ice Ban® is environmentally friendly, non-toxic to vegetation, and actually delivers valuable nutrients to the soil and may enhance vegetation growth.

Ice Ban® is less corrosive on metal than other ice melters. In fact, it actually inhibits corrosion caused by chloride salts and freezes at temperatures lower than most other ice melters.

The corn-based compound is designed to keep roads ice-free longer. "For us, this is another tool in our toolbox to treat roadways," Croarkin said.

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