Though it may not make much difference in the Northwest Passage or Arctic ice cap (wink, wink) there are still many of us who will have to drive on icy roads this upcoming winter. The side effects of using salt to melt the ice (a fairly common practice, especially in the Northeast US) are not so good, with rusted out cars and dispersal of the sodium chloride into the surrounding environment at the top of the list.
The Aomori Ecological Recycle Industrial Association in Japan decided there was a better way, and came up with a method that neatly recycles by-products from two of the largest local harvests: scallops and apples. The new agent employs large amounts of scallop shells generated by the seafood processing in Aomori Prefecture and apple pomace, used to produce acetic acid (the main component of vinegar). The method helps save some of the approximately 50,000 tons of scallop shells that are otherwise wasted each year; since it's non-chlorine based, the scallop shell-apple mixture is much more inert in the surrounding ecosystems. Two birds, one stone. No word yet on when/if such a method might be crossing the Pacific. Read more at ::Japan for Sustainability via ::AutoblogGreen