Here's an interesting story form Dingolfing, Germany, where pickles are made and used to clean the roads. Or at least, the water from the gherkin facility.
Approximately 17,000 tons of cucumbers are processed annually at the Develey plant, and after the produce is stored in saltwater, the latter is left behind. Previously, the saltwater was disposed of through the wastewater treatment plant, but for the second year in a row, the community is now using the brine to make the roads passable again.
The brine works as well as road salt, while still being sustainable. Using cucumber water can save about 1000 tons of road salt and more than 4.9 million liters of water annually. "There is no difference to conventional brine. But it is more sustainable: using cucumber water can save about 1,000 tons of road salt and more than 4.9 million liters of water each year. Recycling at its finest and a win-win situation for everyone - especially for the environment, as less salt is released into the environment overall," the team with Develey says.
It does make you wonder, how exactly does cucumber water become road salt? After processing the cucumbers, a brine remains, which is filtered to remove any suspended particles and then it is processed. In order to achieve an optimal thawing effect, the salt content of the cucumber water must be increased from approximately 7% to 21% by adding some salt.
After the cucumbers are processed, a brine remains. This is filtered to remove suspended particles and then processed. In order to achieve an optimal thawing effect, the salt content of the cucumber water must be concentrated by adding salt from about 7% to 21%. "This is the only hurdle that had to be overcome for the salt brine to be ready for use," the Develey team adds. "Now nothing stands in the way of using cucumber water as road salt for winter road maintenance."
"Admittedly, cucumber water is certainly not the solution to all environmental problems, but it is a step in the right direction and makes winter road maintenance more sustainable."