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Salt and Icy Roads Video for Kids


                                             Salt and Icy Roads

Snow is solid water is really very interesting from a chemical point of view. One of the problems about snowfall is that when the snow falls on the ground, you want to clear it quickly so that people can drive around and carry a normal life. It would be enormously difficult to unfreeze the water by using the flame grill or something like that because as soon as you stop heating it would cool down again and freeze. Spreading salt on icy roads is more convenient. Salt which is chemically known as sodium chloride consists of ions Na+ and Cl. When they dissolve in water the solution of sodium chloride has a lower freezing point than pure water. By putting salt on the roads, you can lower the melting point so the ice melts and cannot freeze again. It is even better if you use calcium chloride because calcium has twice as many chloride ions for the calcium as sodium chloride does. It is even more effective so in really cold countries like Russia they often use calcium chloride because lesser amounts are required.

What is snow?

Let’s begin with water. Water is H2O and it has 2 hydrogen atoms with 1 oxygen atom. It is shaped like letter ‘V’. In ice and snow, we get the same arrangement of water molecules though a light snowflake looks quite different from a solid lump of ice. In both cases, what happens is that two hydrogen atoms of the water bond to the oxygen of the other water molecules and at the same time, this oxygen atom gets two bonds from two other water molecules. Ice and snow have the same arrangement of molecules inside but what they look on outside is different and the reason is because snow is formed by water vapour in the clouds freezing from crystals without forming liquid at all. They produce hexagonal shapes. The precise shape is different from every crystal that is formed. Many of them are misshapen.

The ice you make in your freezer, you take liquid water from which you remove the heat with the fridge and it begins to form a solid. So the difference is that the snow freezes from the atmosphere.



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Declan, Tobin. " Facts for kids about Clearing Icy Roads with Salt ." Easy Science for Kids, Jul 2020. Web. 12 Jul 2020. < >.

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