Why should grass juice become the new road salt

This week, 120 million kilograms of salt were sprayed to keep the roads passable. But all this salt dries up trees and animals. That’s why at Broek op Langedijk, the world’s first grass juice manufacturer is working hard on another soluble factor: grass juice.

The idea of ​​using grass juice – actually, grass juice – against skidding comes from Hillebrand Breuker from Noord-Holland County. He’s been responsible for road maintenance and curbing there for years.

Salty taste

“After a suggestion from the Party for Animals, my department was asked to start mowing the“ bee-friendly. ”So not with the bulk mower, which removes everything, but in stages. And we no longer let the mowed grass at the side of the road rot away, But he took it with them. “

As an experiment, Breukers at some point decided to squeeze some roadside lawn. “I took a sip of juice that came out and thought, hey, this was a salty taste. I told my colleagues about this from the anti-icing conditions, and so the idea was born.”

Hillbrand Brooker holding grass juice in his hand

Attention from all over Europe

The world’s first grass juice plant is now located in Broek op Langerdijk: Grass 2Grit. “Thanks to the help of Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands Water Board Nordercoartier, the contractors Van Gelder and Van Bodegum, and great European support,” says Brooker.

“We are seen from all over Europe, and Canada also cares. Because who does not want to use less salt? We know how harmful it is to nature.” Brooker, among other things, refers to trees along the road, which are scattered with road salt from passing cars. The bark, the tree’s protective layer, is eaten from it and dries up.

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Harmful salt water

In addition, the brine (road salt mixed with ice) ends up in the soil, causing it to be absorbed by tree roots. This leads to the phenomenon of death. All soil life is poisoned by it. The soil contains thousands of worms, wood lice, fungi and bacteria that are essential for plant growth and prosperity.

Then there are the birds that eat the same salt water. They get dizzy from it. They also develop kidney problems, which lead to their death. It’s similar to eating six bags of potato chips or a few tablespoons of salt in a row. If we humans did it, we wouldn’t feel comfortable afterward. “The salt that we sprayed this winter disappeared from the surface water in the fall,” says Brooker.

Littered road salt harms the bark of the tree

Littered road salt harms the bark of the tree

Haffa grass from every province

Last year, Breuker did his best to get the plant up and running. “We have eliminated all the teething problems this year. We were able to produce 200 liters. Next year that would be 20,000 liters, and we will make a real contribution to fighting ice in the north of the Netherlands,” he says proudly.

It is not feasible to produce all of Holland in Broek op Langedijk. Each county has its own roadside lawn and can organize this on their own, Brooker continues. “It would be great if we could use a residual product like grass juice everywhere to replace harmful processes. We all benefit from that.”


How is grass juice made

Before the roadside lawn enters the printing press, it is cut into small pieces. A grass press divides the grass into fibers and sap. When the juice comes from a grass press, it can be compared to orange juice with pulp. They are removed at “careful preservation”. Then the sludge is removed in a centrifuge. Then the juice goes to what is called an ultrafiltration machine.

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The juice that comes out of it is almost sterile and contains 3% salts. It relates to the minerals potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium. It also lowers freezing point, just like the “natural” salt, sodium chloride. Finally, the juice should be slightly salted to 8 percent. Hillbrand Brooker: “We can’t do it without salt. But that’s really a huge profit. Thanks to this grass juice, we can use 30 percent less road salt. And at 100 million kilograms, that really makes a difference.”

Watch the TV report on this topic here.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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