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During winter, temperatures often drop below freezing. This causes a lot of snow and ice fun, however another consequence like slipperiness is less fun. Slipperiness can lead to dangerous situations in traffic. The solution to this is to sprinkle the roads with salt. Two types of salt are used for this; sodium chloride (NaCI) and potassium chloride (KCI). Are you curious about the similarities and differences between these types of salt? We are going to address it in this blog, so you know all about sodium and potassium chloride.
Sodium Chloride as a Thawing Agent
As you might already know sodium chloride is used as a thawing agent for icy roads and has various applications. Sodium chloride is extracted in three different ways:
- Evaporation of brine: the most commonly used method in The Netherlands to acquire sodium chloride. With this method, water is pumped into the ground at places where the soil contains a lot of salt. These pipes go that deep that they end up in the salt layer. Due to this method, the salt dissolves into the water. This combination between the dissolved salt and the water is called brine. Eventually, the water in the brine is evaporated, and only the salt remains. The remained salt is then cleaned before use.
- Evaporation of seawater: In warmer countries, they allow seawater to overflow the land. This water is then stored in large, shallow containers. The heat causes the water to evaporate, leaving only the salt behind. This (sea) salt can be easily collected. Unfortunately, in The Netherlands is it too cold to evaporate seawater.
- Mining in salt mines: The mining of salt is a rather ancient method, yet some countries still use this method to acquire salt. Miners hew salt in large pieces from the soil. These mines are often located 300 meters underground.
The Applications of Sodium Chloride
Sodium chloride is often used in our daily lives as table salt. Furthermore it is used as a thawing agent for icy roads, but it also has other purposes as sodium chloride has the following applications:
• Food preservative.
• Several applications within the cosmetic industry.
• Softening salt in water softeners.
• Animal feed salt in animal feed.
Potassium Chloride as a Thawing Agent
Similar to sodium chloride, potassium chloride has various applications. It is extracted from the mines in the form of potassium salt, this salt has various purposes. The Netherlands has limited reserves when it comes down to potassium and is therefore dependent on imports. At ViVoChem we are aware of the limited reserves and we are actively working on acquiring a sufficient stock.
Potassium chloride, like sodium chloride, has many applications:
• Fertiliser or component thereof.
• Flavour enhancer.
• Excipient in vaccines and medicines.
• Component of melting salt in the refining of metals.
The Usage of Sodium Chloride or Potassium Chloride as Road Salt
Both sodium and potassium chloride are extremely suitable for the use as road salt. Up until now has been sodium chloride the most frequently used one. Nowadays, potassium chloride is used as an alternative, as this is more sustainable and the freezing point is lower. Furthermore, potassium chloride is a healthier alternative to table salt, yet it tastes slightly more bitter.
Are you curious about our delivery options? We supply several types of pure sodium chloride and potassium chloride that can be used as industrial salt and consumption salt. We supply industrial salt in pallet bags of 25kg and big bags of 1000kg. Watch this video to learn more about the packing options for chemicals. Via the buttons below you can go to our product pages where you can request a free quote.