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EnviroTech Journal

Check out all the latest industry tips and tricks coming straight to you from
the experts at EnviroTech Services.

Dust Control Decision Making: Calcium Chloride vs Magnesium Chloride

Posted by jonathan.nelson on 1.20.2016

As a transportation, site, or project manager, selecting a dust control product is just one of many tasks you’d like to be as efficient as possible in making. With the proliferation of both Calcium and Magnesium chloride, it can seem as though these products are interchangeable, which reduced decision making to just pricing and availability. This belief can be reinforced if you are working with a company that only has access to one supply source, as they intend to simplify your thought process while buying. But if you want to maximize your performance and cost effectiveness, it’s worth going one step further in understanding how these two different products work. Here’s a quick guide you can use.

Dust Control performance is primarily a function of a product’s ability to bind water on the road surface and prevent fugitive dust from getting loose. Though not immediately obvious, this helps us understand why relative humidity has a material impact on product effectiveness. It turns out that CaCl2 and MgCl2 (ESI’s Product Roadsaver) relate differently to relative humidity, even though they are both working to bond with (and bind) water. Furthermore, it is important to be sure you know what concentration you are using.

 Relative Humidity Level

Optimal CaCl2 Concentration

Optimal MgCl2 Concentration*

High (>70%)

34%-36% CaCl2

30% MgCl2

Moderate (~50%)

36%-38% CaCl2

30% MgCl2

Low (<30%)

36%-38% CaCl2

30% MgCl2

*Assumes similar application rate.

Although not a comprehensive list of factors to consider while selecting a product, this should help you know what to ask for, based on your climate. If you appreciate science and like visual aids, here is a chart illustrating our testing on this topic. To learn more, contact us.



EnviroTech Services, Inc., a Greeley, Colorado-based Small Business manufacturer of problem-solving products for the de-icing and dust control markets. Over 26 years of "People Helping People Help the Environment".

Topics: Road deicer, ESI products, deicing products, Winter, Deicing & Anti-Icing, winter road products, Environmental, corrosion control