Throw away the shovel: Electric concrete melts snow

For commuters negotiating post-blizzard conditions, take heart: electric snow-melting concrete may be coming to a city near you. Dr. Chris Tuan, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his team of researchers have developed a concrete mixture prototype that melts away falling snow and ice by conducting electricity. The special concrete has carbon byproducts from coal mining and steel shavings from industrial waste that make up around 20 percent of the mixture. This is enough to allow the solidified material to conduct electricity. Steel rods beneath the concrete’s surface connect to electrodes, which connect to a 120-volt AC power source. Eventually they would like to install sensors that would make the concrete and its current automated, allowing an even more hands-off approach to de-icing.
It’s not cost effective to lay entire roads using conductive concrete, but it is well suited to targeted locations including intersections, exit ramps, driveways and sidewalks.

briservThrow away the shovel: Electric concrete melts snow