Ice accretion of car windshields is a road safety concern in fall and wintertime as frost impairs the vision of drivers that do not sufficiently de-ice their car windshields, which may cause serious road accidents. Windshield washer fluids are crucially important for rapid car windshield de-icing which is most efficient through a combination of thermal, mechanical, and chemical action; i.e. local heating, scraping, and the application of appropriate windshield washer fluids. At present, windshield washer fluids rely solely on colligative antifreezes. The current formulations are (highly) flammable which requires precautionary measures in stores and cars, and the ethanol used is derived from sugarcane which is a valuable food resource. The challenge is to develop a commercially viable solution to replace these colligative antifreezes by an innovative screenwash formulation that is highly effective, but not flammable, does not present a health risk, and does not use food resources. In ‘PRicelessCOAT’ scientists will develop new biocompatible and biodegradable chemical building blocks for de-icing and anti-icing of car windows.
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