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Merged Dealing with snow - plow, blower or shovel? & how do you clear your driveway

View Poll Results: How do you clear your drive of snow?
Pay someone else to shovel, plow or snowblow
6
17.14%
Clear it yourself (plow, snowblower, etc.)
9
25.71%
Shovel it yourself
15
42.86%
Other
5
14.29%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

Merged Dealing with snow - plow, blower or shovel? & how do you clear your driveway

Old Sep 12th 2013, 8:08 pm
  #61  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
The vapor pressure does not go to zero as you drop past the freezing temperature. ....
I know that, and didn't say it would. I said it would have to for sublimation to take place. At extremely low pressure the water molecules can be almost sucked off the surface of the ice, but otherwise the ice always has to melt before the molecules can break free and become a gas.
Although the bulk of the ice will stay in the solid form at any given moment, the surface will sublime slowly as long as the quantity of airborne moisture in contact with the ice stays below the vapor pressure. This gets accelerated greatly with wind, which takes the airborne moisture away to keep the system out of equilibrium.
What you are describing is the surface of the ice melting and evaporating, which is completely different from the phenomenon of a sublimation, a solid substance turning directly into its gaseous phase.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 12th 2013 at 8:11 pm.
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 9:29 pm
  #62  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Yeah, it's the ice storms that are the bigger threat round here too, though there hasn't been a major one since the winter of 2002-2003, thankfully. There was a very destructive one in December 2002, but that was just before I moved here. A few weeks later in early 2003 I went out to my car (I was still living in a hotel at the time), and it looked like my car had been frozen inside a giant ice cube. There was a solid, and eerily clear ½" layer of ice covering the whole car. Even the doors wouldn't pop open with the remote. In the following ten years it has never been that bad.
I have spent hours, even a day, chipping the car out of ice so we could get in it at times....don't want to risk the hot water treatment, after a friend did it with warm water and the windscreen shattered

Haven't gone through as much screen wash in the car down here compared to when we lived in Maine though, which is nice...because even at a couple bucks, the costs add up when you're chucking a tub in the car every week. Down here, can probably get away with maybe a couple refills a winter.
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 9:56 pm
  #63  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Thermodynamics. F*** yeah
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 10:17 pm
  #64  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I know that, and didn't say it would. I said it would have to for sublimation to take place. At extremely low pressure the water molecules can be almost sucked off the surface of the ice, but otherwise the ice always has to melt before the molecules can break free and become a gas.

What you are describing is the surface of the ice melting and evaporating, which is completely different from the phenomenon of a sublimation, a solid substance turning directly into its gaseous phase.
Actually I do have to chime in briefly - water ice will sublime, albeit slowly, at temperatures below 0C if energy (in the form of sunlight) is added.

Above 0C, it is melting and evaporating, as you describe.

But I'm a physicist, not a chemist, so don't quote me.

Byeeeee
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 10:33 pm
  #65  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Actually I do have to chime in briefly - water ice will sublime, albeit slowly, at temperatures below 0C if energy (in the form of sunlight) is added. ...
At the molecular level I suspect that the sun's energy is actually melting the water molecules off the surface, rather than true sublimation, but my studies of phase equilibrium are a little rusty.
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 11:07 pm
  #66  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
At the molecular level I suspect that the sun's energy is actually melting the water molecules off the surface, rather than true sublimation, but my studies of phase equilibrium are a little rusty.
As is mine. I'm sure it's somewhere in between.
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Old Sep 12th 2013, 11:24 pm
  #67  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/...diags.html#top

Sorry, my thermodynamics books are at work. But this says for fresh water (which ice is) that it has to pass through a liquid stage at 1 atm.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 12:32 am
  #68  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Mr Weeze View Post
http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/...diags.html#top

Sorry, my thermodynamics books are at work. But this says for fresh water (which ice is) that it has to pass through a liquid stage at 1 atm.
That is correct!

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 13th 2013 at 1:00 am.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 2:59 am
  #69  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That is correct!
The key is know that you are not dealing with an equilibrium state.

The phase diagram says that the water will stay solid, but that only applies to the bulk material. At the surface, the ice *may* be in a non-equilibrium condition. For example, if the partial pressure of water is less than the vapor pressure of ice in the air contacting the surface, ice will sublime until the equilibrium condition is reached. If the air is then blown away and replaced with drier air, sublimation will occur again. This is one of the mechanisms used by frost-free freezers. It is also why your ice cubes shrink over time in the freeze, but it takes a lot of time without a direct energy input - nobody worries about their ice cubes disappearing in a few days. Snow sublimation is driven faster because of the sun's energy.

Use of the google:

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/e...ter-vapor.html

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercyclesublimation.html

http://wxguys.ssec.wisc.edu/2011/02/...now-evaporate/
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 3:04 am
  #70  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by AdobePinon View Post
The key is know that you are not dealing with an equilibrium state.

The phase diagram says that the water will stay solid, but that only applies to the bulk material. At the surface, the ice *may* be in a non-equilibrium condition. For example, if the partial pressure of water is less than the vapor pressure of ice in the air contacting the surface, ice will sublime until the equilibrium condition is reached. If the air is then blown away and replaced with drier air, sublimation will occur again. This is one of the mechanisms used by frost-free freezers. It is also why your ice cubes shrink over time in the freeze, but it takes a lot of time without a direct energy input - nobody worries about their ice cubes disappearing in a few days. Snow sublimation is driven faster because of the sun's energy.

Use of the google:

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/e...ter-vapor.html

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercyclesublimation.html

http://wxguys.ssec.wisc.edu/2011/02/...now-evaporate/
So is it sublimation, or is it vapour liquid equilibrium? I've honestly had too much wine to think about it properly, but it's been bugging me for hours.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 3:20 am
  #71  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Mr Weeze View Post
So is it sublimation, or is it vapour liquid equilibrium? I've honestly had too much wine to think about it properly, but it's been bugging me for hours.
The problem isn't that you've had too much wine to think about it properly, but that you've had too little to forget about it totally!
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 3:21 am
  #72  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
The problem isn't that you've had too much wine to think about it properly, but that you've had too little to forget about it totally!
Good point, well made.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 2:29 pm
  #73  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Actually I do have to chime in briefly - water ice will sublime, albeit slowly, at temperatures below 0C if energy (in the form of sunlight) is added.
Above 0C, it is melting and evaporating, as you describe.
But I'm a physicist, not a chemist, so don't quote me.
Byeeeee
Schrödinger was drunk most of the time, you know.
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 2:38 pm
  #74  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Schrödinger was drunk most of the time, you know.
explains a lot
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Old Sep 13th 2013, 2:54 pm
  #75  
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Default Re: Snow country USA--how do you clear your driveway in the winter?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Thermodynamics. F*** yeah
Haha, love it! Only on BE!
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