Deicing Agents and Their Impact at Airports
a Department of Energetics, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague b Research and Test Air Institute Co., Prague
Wintertime aircraft and runway deicing programs have to ensure both the safety of passengers and low environmental impact of the measures taken. A number of traditional freeze-point depressants were used for this purpose such as ethylene glycol and urea for runways and ethylene glycol for aircraft deicing. Because of pollution threat coupled with the difficulty in containing and controlling runway run-off, the use of traditional deicers in the Czech Republic is declining. A new line of deicing agents was developed and compared with imported products. A patented runway agent is an acetate- or formate-based mixture with an additive. The additive, making a few per cent in the mixture, is made of a thickener, pH regulator and a zinc alkylphosphonate complex as corrosion inhibitor. The agent is harmless for the environment, with oxygen demand lower than traditional deicers. Fish-toxic nitrogen degradation products like urea were eliminated. The formate-based agent can melt ice and snow more effectively, thus improving air traffic at the airport. The aircraft agent is based on buffered propylene glycol with an alkanedioic acid corrosion inhibitor. It showed excellent performance in standard corrosion tests when compared with conventional products.
Full text (PDF)