Benefits of Using Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides on County Roads

Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides have been widely used in the western part of the United States for dust suppression and de-icer for many years. They are not binders but are hydroscopic in nature and actually work by attracting moisture from the air to control dust.

One of the attractive features is the relatively low cost. However, there are a few challenges associated with the use of these salts:

  • Requires at least 32 percent relative humidity for magnesium chloride to work
  • Unsuitable in areas were rainfall is prevalent since rainwater tends to leach out the soluble chlorides
  • Considered to be corrosive to road surfaces and vehicles
  • Creates a slippery surface for roads with a high content of fines (clays) when wet
  • Effective as regular water when the chloride concentration becomes less than 20 percent
  • Considered to be detrimental to road side vegetation and can threaten ground water quality

Many cities, counties and municipalities are reviewing alternatives to using Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides for more environmentally friendly options.

One such option is Earthbind® 100. Earthbind was engineered to be an environmentally-friendly alternative to chlorides. It is a bio-based asphalt emulsion that is specifically formulated for dust suppression on unpaved surfaces.

When compared to calcium or magnesium chloride:

  • Earthbind does not wash off with rain rainwater as the chlorides do.
  • Earthbind is a binder that glues soil particles together. Earthbind is not hydroscopic therefore does not require humidity to control dust.
  • Earthbind does not get sloppy or slippery under wet conditions.
  • Earthbind requires 3 to 5 times less concentrated product on moderately traveled roads when compared to chlorides reducing shipping costs and storage area required.
  • Earthbind is specifically formulated and manufactured to be a dust control palliative. It is not a by-product or “waste” product.
  • Earthbind weighs 23-28% less than calcium or magnesium chloride, reducing shipping costs and storage requirements.
  • Earthbind is formulated with surfactants which help break road surface tension, eliminating the need to pre-water a road prior to application.
  • Earthbind is not considered to be corrosive.
  • Earthbind does not harm vegetation or impact surface or ground water.
  • Earthbind does not attract animals to the road. Some animals may be attracted to the salts in chloride treated roads. Larger mammals attracted to a road can be traffic hazards.
  • Earthbind can accumulate over several applications. Yearly maintenance applications require less product because of this build up. Chlorides can wash off the surface.
  • Earthbind makes a road water resistant. In humid regions, chlorides have been shown to cause road material to hold water. A gravel or dirt road’s most typical problems are caused by water. Typical problems include rutting, soft spots, depressions, and potholes.

While Chlorides have been used for many years, some of the side-affects are becoming concerning to many communities and land-owners. For more detailed information on the safety and effectiveness of Earthbind, call 503-595-2650 or visit our site.



By: Swayne Walther | EnviRoad

2017-04-26T21:34:29+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Categories: Business Partner|Tags: , |