Slick Roads and Salt Treatments

Julie Pollock

Chemistry professor Julie Pollock studies chemical biology techniques to better understand breast cancer and inflammatory diseases. But she also loves all things chemistry and teaching the chemistry behind everyday life in her classroom. In 2018 she wrote a piece for The Conversation on the chemistry behind using salt to treat icy roads.

“If the water is mixed with salt, the freezing temperature of the solution is lower than 32 Fahrenheit,” says Pollock. “The salt impedes the ability of the water molecules to form solid ice crystals. The degree of freezing point depression depends on how salty the solution is.”

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