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Glycol, Airports, And EPA Regulations  
User currently offlineDLX737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1987 posts, RR: 18
Posted (5 years 8 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4366 times:

Hey everyone,

I'm curious about airports and the methods they employ to prevent deicing fluid from hazardously affecting the environment. Does anybody know of any current regulations in place for the collection of glycol and/or any airports that have extensive systems in place for this?

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineYWG From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 1148 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4272 times:

Quoting DLX737200 (Thread starter):
airports and the methods they employ to prevent deicing fluid from hazardously affecting the environment.

Most of the places I fly have a "De-Ice Pad", in other words an apron devoted to de-icing. They have what looks like vacuum trucks driving around sucking up all the excess off the ground. Supposedly they recycle it and use it in anti-freeze and various automotive products. That being said, there is always a trail of glycol (dripping from the wings) from this pad to the active runway. Nothing is preventing it from getting into the local water.

Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
User currently offlineGLEN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 270 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4265 times:

Quoting DLX737200 (Thread starter):
any airports that have extensive systems in place for this?

The glycol is not toxic per se, but when the quantities normally used on a winter day come into a river it will disturb the natural balance of the water, especially the oxygen level and can kill quite a lot of fish over time. Therefore in ZRH the fluid contaminated water on the airfield is recovered and then spread through the year over the fields around the airport, where it will be slowly reduced.
More here:

[Edited 2010-10-03 08:40:19]

"The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view." - Albert Einstein
User currently offlineqblue From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4079 times:

De-icing pads are designed for the drains to be directed to special recovery tanks or ponds. When they have enough collected it is shipped to a recycling plant to be used again. I'm not sure if it is recycled for aircraft use or to other products. They also use vacuum trucks to pick-up glycol when de-icing is done on the apron.

User currently offlinetristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4355 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4068 times:

At ARN there is a deicing pad for only one runway. There is no room to build one on the other two.
Deicing is allowed at most gates, the water drain from these gates goes to a holding pond.
After deicing, the remaining fluid on the ground is vacuumed up and sent to this pond as well.
Nordic Aero has a recycling plant and recycles all this fluid.
All the snow that is swept off the airport runways, taxyways, and aprons is dumped at the threshold of 01L. The runoff from this dump is also collected and sent to the recycler. In the spring as the snow melts, this enormous mound of contaminated snow stinks as it slowly melts.
The deicing companies also try and limit the amount of glycol used. First they blow off the snow with an airblower fitted to every deicing truck, then they will start the deicing process by using hot water to wash off the remaining snow before applying glycol. It is in their interest to do this as they run the recycling system.

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