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Vodka byproduct used as road de-icer

Dec. 30, 2009 at 5:43 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Vodka may be considered "antifreeze" for humans but a byproduct is also good for melting snow and ice on roads and sidewalks, makers say.

A byproduct of the vodka distilling process being marketed as "Magic Salt" is proving useful for keeping driveways and walkways clear of ice, WANE-TV, Fort Wayne, Ind., reported Wednesday.

The broadcaster quoted a local distributor who said Indiana hospitals and the city of New Haven is using the stuff as an effective de-icer.

"It's basically the leftovers as they are doing the distilling ... and they used to just basically dispose of it in retention ponds," said Fort Wayne "Magic Salt" distributor Eric Hitzfield.

Hitzfield told WANE it works at minus 35 degrees, about 50 degrees colder than the average rock salt.

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