MOSCOW, February 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Amid a series of sweeping winter storms blanketing North America and Europe, and bringing transport systems and everyday logistics for millions to a halt, a new association is being formed in Moscow, Russia, a country where average winters last for up 6 months.
The Moscow-based Russian Association of Winter Road Maintenance is tasked to bring under one roof all sides concerned with snow and ice-related problems: top meteorological scientists and researchers, ecology experts, together with manufacturers of anti-icing materials and snow removal equipment, and specialists in highway and street management.
The main aim of the Association is research and development of the best practices in efficient and environmentally friendly ways to combat snow and ice accumulation, as well international collaboration aimed to find the best, environmentally and economically sound decisions in the matter of winter road maintenance and early warning systems for urban and rural settings.
According to some Russian Association members, there are unexpected challenges, such as shortcomings in legal and knowledge frameworks, be it quality control mechanisms in street and roadway cleaning, or lack of government standards in manufacturing of deicing materials. One noted exception is the city of Moscow, where government developed and passed a set of stringent rules in winter city maintenance, approved by the countrywide ecology commission.
These issues reverberated at the International Winter Road Congress, which took place in Andorra in February, where studies presented highlighted the gravity of the snow and ice removal issues for several European countries. French expert Stéphanie Poissonnier from the Regional laboratory of roads and bridges of the French city of Nancy said scientists are desperate to find a new, potent and eco-friendly anti-icing compounds. "No one wants to see a comeback of the infamous winters of 2009 and 2010 whose snow and ice in France caused shortages of food across the country," said Ms. Poissonnier. "We have researched the calcium and sodium chlorides, as well as formates, and glycerols. Studies revealed that small addition of certain organic and mineral formates to the anti-icing compounds reduce the corrosiveness to metal."
The Russian forum attendees were pleased to confirm that their capital city, Moscow, has been using a similar mixture of compounds for several years. It is believed that the addition of organic compounds, including formate, enhances the eco-friendly nature of the reagent. A mixture of sodium chloride and calcium significantly increases the melting ability of deicing materials and lowers its operating temperature.
Earlier this month, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) has taken a temperature of the capital's inhabitants' opinion on the matter. Around 70% of respondents have noted that Moscow streets are being cleaned better than in other Russian cities, and roughly 6 out of ten Muscovites give the city a passing grade for snow and ice removal effort.
SOURCE Russian Association of Winter Road Maintenance