Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-38-0085
2011-06-13

Laboratory Testing and Field Demonstration of an Environmentally Benign and Reduced Corrosion Runway Deicing Fluid 2011-38-0085

Currently the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD) exclusively uses potassium acetate (KAc)-based runway deicing fluids (RDFs) to deice and anti-ice military runways and taxiways. Commercial airports predominantly use KAc, but some also use RDFs composed of KAc plus propylene glycol (PG) or urea plus PG. Conventional RDFs have environmental concerns due to toxicity as well as material compatibility problems such as corrosion of aircraft carbon brake-pad components, cadmium-plated landing gear, and airfield lighting fixtures. Under the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), Battelle tested a series of patented - bio-based RDFs to address these issues. Tests showed that the Battelle RDFs met the mandatory Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 1435 requirements. These new RDFs have reduced ecotoxicity compared to currently used RDFs and are compliant with all other environmental requirements. Also, these bio-based RDFs were found to be less corrosive to commercial aircraft materials and Air Force unique materials (e.g., infrared windows, low observable coatings). A full-scale demonstration was conducted under the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Battelle RDFs were evaluated on a runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Ohio, during January and February 2010. Side-by-side tests were conducted with two Battelle RDFs and a commercial KAc RDF. The field tests were a success. They showed that these RDFs could serve as a drop-in replacement for KAc RDFs, while demonstrating comparable anti-icing and deicing performance at a lower life-cycle cost. As a result, bio-based RDFs were reviewed and approved for use on Air Force airfields by the Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency (AFCESA). Battelle has licensed the technology to the Basic Solutions North America Corporation, which markets the Battelle RDF formulations under the trade name GEN3. These RDFs were used at commercial airports in Canada and the United States during the 2009/2010 de-icing season and expanded into Europe for the 2010/2011 season.

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