The US Army has awarded OCOchem a contract to develop a large-scale electrolyzer prototype that formulates non-destructive de-icing chemicals.
The project aims to provide the army with a “lower-cost, non-corrosive, chlorine-free” solution to protect military bases and equipment from damage caused by rock and road salt damage during ice cleanup.
The agreement follows an initial contract valued at $1.1 million, which enabled the company to construct the prototype scale of its Carbon Flux Electrolyzer.
Carbon Flux Electrolyzer
The Carbon Flux Electrolyzer produces potassium formate in a ready-to-use liquid brine to create a corrosion-free de-icer. It can fit into military vehicles for off-site de-icing operations.
In the contract extension, OCOchem aims to develop a larger prototype to formulate de-icing chemicals at US military facilities while lowering logistics costs and risks.
The Carbon Flux Electrolyzer will use US-sourced recycled carbon dioxide, water, and potassium sulfate.
“We are excited to continue our efforts to further scale our formate electrolyzer technology to a commercial-ready system… and be deployed in the civilian sector to more affordably enhance safe travel and to protect and extend the longevity of our natural and built environment,” OCOchem Co-Founder and Chief Executive Todd Brix said.
Replacing Rock Salt De-Icers
The Carbon Flux Electrolyzer is expected to help decrease the country’s carbon emissions by more than 100 million tons per year if it replaces traditional rock salt de-icers, according to the company.
“These salts have negative effects on the environment and surrounding infrastructure after they are applied, dissolved, and dispersed,” Brix explained.
The potassium formate can replace chloride-based de-icing salts once adopted for military and civilian use, according to the company. It will also reduce the cost of corrosion-related maintenance on roads, bridges, and equipment by $100 billion.
“The potential impact of this novel, lower-cost, carbon-neutral deicing manufacturing process delivers a triple benefit to national defense readiness, civilian customers, and the environment.”