What is Calcium Magnesium Acetate?

Calcium Magnesium Acetate Ice Melt Pellets

Every winter communities are often faced with the challenge of keeping roads and walkways safe from icy conditions. Traditionally, rock salt has been the go-to solution for deicing, but concerns about its environmental impact and corrosive effects on infrastructure have prompted the search for alternative solutions. One such alternative gaining attention is Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA). In this post, we’ll delve into what CMA is, its uses, advantages, disadvantages, and how it stacks up against other deicing products.

What is Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)?

Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA), often abbreviated as CMA, represents a groundbreaking innovation in the realm of winter maintenance. This remarkable deicing agent is meticulously crafted from a blend of calcium, magnesium, and acetate ions, derived from the fusion of dolomitic limestone and acetic acid. This unique synthesis endows CMA with its distinctive properties, positioning it as a superior alternative to conventional chloride-based deicers.

At its core, CMA embodies a commitment to environmental stewardship. Unlike its chloride counterparts, which can wreak havoc on ecosystems and infrastructure, CMA offers a gentle touch, safeguarding both the natural world and man-made structures. Its composition draws upon naturally occurring minerals and organic acids, ensuring a minimal ecological footprint throughout its lifecycle.

Visually, CMA presents itself as a pristine, white granular substance, evoking purity and efficacy. This granular form facilitates easy application and dispersion across icy surfaces, enabling efficient deicing without excessive waste or environmental impact. Its non-corrosive nature distinguishes it as a beacon of safety for infrastructure, preserving the integrity of roads, bridges, and vehicles alike.

Yet, perhaps most striking is CMA’s biodegradability, a quality that sets it apart as a truly sustainable solution. As winter’s chill gives way to spring’s thaw, CMA gracefully dissolves into harmless components, leaving no lasting trace upon the environment. This inherent ability to biodegrade ensures that residual CMA poses no threat to soil, water sources, or delicate ecosystems, aligning perfectly with the principles of ecological harmony.

How is Calcium Magnesium Acetate Used?

CMA is primarily used for deicing roads, bridges, sidewalks, and parking lots in areas where environmental concerns are paramount. It works by preventing ice and snow from bonding to surfaces, allowing for easier removal with plows or shovels. Unlike salt-based deicers, CMA does not chemically attack concrete, steel, or vegetation, minimizing damage to infrastructure and the environment.

Pros of Calcium Magnesium Acetate:

  1. Environmental Friendliness: CMA is considered environmentally friendly because it is derived from naturally occurring minerals and organic acids. It does not harm aquatic life, soil quality, or vegetation, making it a safer option for sensitive ecosystems.
  2. Non-Corrosive: Unlike chloride-based deicers such as rock salt or calcium chloride, CMA is non-corrosive to metals, concrete, and other infrastructure. This reduces maintenance costs and prolongs the lifespan of roads, bridges, and vehicles.
  3. Biodegradable: CMA breaks down into harmless components over time, reducing its impact on the environment. This biodegradability ensures that residual CMA does not accumulate in soil or water bodies, unlike chloride-based deicers that can persist for extended periods.

Cons of Calcium Magnesium Acetate:

  1. Higher Cost: CMA tends to be more expensive than traditional chloride-based deicers, which can deter some municipalities from adopting it on a large scale.
  2. Lower Effectiveness in Extreme Cold: While CMA is effective at preventing ice formation in moderately cold temperatures, it may be less effective in extremely cold conditions (-10°C or below), requiring higher application rates or supplemental treatments.

How does CMA Compare to Other Deicing Products?

When compared to traditional chloride-based deicers like rock salt or calcium chloride products, CMA offers significant advantages in terms of environmental impact and infrastructure preservation. While salt-based deicers are cheaper and more effective at lower temperatures, they pose greater risks to the environment and infrastructure integrity. CMA strikes a balance between effectiveness and sustainability, making it a preferred choice in environmentally sensitive areas and for long-term infrastructure maintenance.

The Future of Calcium Magnesium Acetate:

As awareness of environmental issues continues to grow, the demand for sustainable deicing solutions like CMA is expected to increase. Research and development efforts are underway to improve the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of CMA, making it more competitive with traditional deicing products. Innovations such as enhanced formulations and application methods aim to address the limitations of CMA in extreme cold climates while maintaining its environmental benefits.

Furthermore, government regulations and initiatives promoting eco-friendly practices are driving the adoption of CMA in public infrastructure maintenance projects. Municipalities and transportation agencies are increasingly recognizing the long-term value of investing in sustainable deicing strategies, both in terms of environmental stewardship and infrastructure longevity.

In addition to its use in winter maintenance, Calcium Magnesium Acetate is finding applications in other industries where non-corrosive, biodegradable chemicals are desirable. These include agricultural soil amendments, dust control on unpaved roads, and erosion prevention in environmentally sensitive areas.


Calcium Magnesium Acetate represents a significant advancement in the field of winter deicing, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional chloride-based products. Its environmentally friendly composition, non-corrosive properties, and biodegradability make it a preferred choice for municipalities, transportation agencies, and environmentally conscious consumers.

While challenges such as higher cost and reduced effectiveness in extreme cold exist, ongoing research and development efforts are continuously improving the performance and affordability of CMA. As we strive to mitigate the environmental impact of winter maintenance practices, Calcium Magnesium Acetate stands out as a responsible solution for keeping our roads and walkways safe without compromising the health of our planet.

In the face of climate change and increasing environmental concerns, the adoption of sustainable deicing practices, including the use of Calcium Magnesium Acetate, will play a crucial role in creating resilient and eco-friendly communities for generations to come.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate Near Me

Where can you buy Calcium Magnesium Acetate? Contact our team for an estimate including shipping options for all over the country. Our snow removal and dust control customers are usually located in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia but our products can be shipped in truckloads to anywhere in the United States. Fill out the quick form below for a quote.


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