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VIDEO: The Incredible Snow Melting Machine

February 07, 2013 By Tom Niemisto, Video Production Specialist

This is the kind of week, most of us would really like having a snow melting machine. Maybe if you ask the City of Minneapolis's public works department heads, they'll let you borrow theirs. The city's snowmelter can liquefy 30 tons of snow per hour, which can greatly reduce snow storage needs in a city short of space. They're still figuring out how best to utilize the three-year-old machine.

While the unit consumes lots of fuel, up to 60 gallons per hour, compared to hauling snow with diesel trucks and bobcats it shows potential energy savings.


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  • Robert Moffitt says:

    February 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Re: fuel use, the Snow Dragon runs on a B10 biodiesel blend (as does most Minneapolis diesel vehicles), so it does not consume as much petroleum as you might think. B10 is 90% petroleum diesel, 10% biodiesel.

  • Tom says:

    February 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks Robert, I believe this model in the video is the SND900, the website for which ( reads:
    “fuel consumption: 40-60 gallons (max)”
    It also says “No2 Fuel or diesel fuel type for mobile units, Natural Gas available for stationary models” Is that what you mean?

    I know the MSP airport owns several larger, stationary units for clearing the runways quickly, not sure if they’re on gas though.