Beet juice compounds have miraculous road deicing properties, but did you know it is also a proven dust control agent for gravel roads?
This revelation comes not from a future, post apocalyptic snake oil salesman wandering the radioactive dust bowls of the Great Plains in search of mutated rubes, but from actual science in your living present.
The main manufacturer of a sugar beet molasses compound, called Molex, is Savannah Foods of Fremont, Ohio.
Molex is made from beet molasses, a useful green product. Molasses is sticky so it will absorb dust particles and soak up water. Since beets are a food source, Molex is safe for plants and animals to consume right off of the road. Molex also attaches to and holds water, has a high level of potassium chloride (which can replace calcium chloride), has a near neutral pH level (so it shouldn’t be corrosive), and doesn’t freeze, even at minus-16 degree Fahrenheit.
Molex is normally available at half the price of a common dust control compound, calcium chloride.
Lake County, Ill., (among others across the U.S.) is in the process of experimenting with a solution of beet juice and calcium chloride for deicing roads over the last four years with much success. The price of beet juice has been dropping, so not only is the county saving money, but it is diminishing the impact calcium chloride has on the environment.
For more information on Molex, the result of the road tests, or the application rates used, call Milan Levett at (219) 936-2181.
Wisconsin Salt Solutions LLC, Stratford, uses a deicing product that consists of magnesium chloride and beet juice, making winter driving conditions safer for citizens. The product is provided to municipalities, counties, and the state of Wisconsin.
Kafka Granite LLC, Stratford, has created a dust control product, which was originally for the company’s sole use but is now marketed statewide through a sister company, Kafka DustBuster Plus LLC. The product provides the typical calcium chloride solution and also an innovative alternative using magnesium rather than calcium. This combination is the mildest form of dust control available and the only product approved by the park and recreational department.
Both products are natural, non-hazardous and a positive option to minimize dust. Additional development includes blending the products with de-sugared beet molasses (which Kafka refers to as “beet juice”). Beet juice serves as a rust inhibitor, making dust control even more consumer friendly.
The town of Milladore is expecting many bids for such a product on June 6. Bids are due no later than 7:30 p.m. to the town hall.
Jeff Moore is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. He’s a fan of the real Beat Generation.