Sears Ecological Applications Company......
The Sears Companies of Rome N.Y. operated four oil distribution facilities in New York State serving the majority of that state and large portions of the western New England States for over 75 plus years. By the 1980's and 90's they found that they had excess liquid storage capacity, as a result of the rise in use of other fuels. A search for other liquid storage business eventually led to the then new liquid ice melters based on various agricultural by-products. Early on, in about 1997, Sears associated with another supplier of ice melter and began distribution in New York and New England.
As time progressed, Sears was able to acquire the original Toth Patent (Hungary) that seems to have been the precursor for several later waste/by-product based ice melters. Although effective, Sears soon determined that there were inherent problems with these products. The need for consistency from batch to batch, the difficulty of finding high quality material and the varying performance as a result of these problems were a continuing source of concern.
Starting in late 1997, Sears undertook a major research and development program in an attempt to solve the variability problems of the waste/by-product based melters. This led to a program to produce an ice melter that would use refined materials, that would provide consistent and repeatable performance, and whose characteristics could be reliably predicted in all weather conditions. It was learned, in the course of this extensive effort, that Freeze Point Depression in chloride salts is caused by Low Molecular Weight Carbohydrates- put simply- Sugars. The conventional wisdom at that time ran to protein as the basis of the improved performance.
With the first Patent issued in 2001, there are now a series of additional patents covering a broad range of ice melting products, all based in the Low Molecular Weight Carbohydrate discovery. An additional benefit is that their presence also provides a significant reduction in the corrosiveness of the salt.
Not content to concentrate only on research, Sears also made extensive adaptations to its facilities to receive ships, store and blend large volumes of material, develop filtration systems and acquire special metering equipment to facilitate accurate truck loading. Sears realized that in order to meet the requirements of large users, it must have the demonstrated ability to provide large quantities of consistent product on demand.
With all of the above, there is also an emphasis on reducing and controlling environmental impact. Sears research staff has studied the effects of runoff on water courses, impact on aquatic life, algal formation, BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and further means of reducing corrosion, as well as more specialized studies requested by various agencies.
We believe that Sears' ongoing research and development program, together with its concentration on the ability to deliver large quantities of quality product is unequalled by any other company in the industry.