Finavia will introduce recycled propylene glycol for aircraft de-icing at Helsinki Airport in Finland.
Jani Elasmaa, vice president of Finavia and responsible for apron and runway operations at Helsinki Airport, said, “We are introducing recycled de-icing fluid at Helsinki Airport for the first time this winter season. The recycled propylene glycol is manufactured to match the quality of new de-icing fluid entirely, and it is a more ecological alternative.”
The amount of recycled propylene glycol, or de-icing fluid, to be used at Helsinki Airport is nearly 500 metric tons. Its use will reduce carbon emissions from de-icing fluid use and transportation by roughly 1,500 metric tons during the winter season.
The recycled propylene glycol supplied to Helsinki Airport is produced at the Clariant chemical company’s plant in Rauma, Finland, where it is manufactured to the same standard as new de-icing fluid. In terms of performance, recycled de-icing fluid is equivalent to new fluid.
Mats Holmström, head of aviation operations, Nordic, Clariant, added, “At Clariant, we are committed to supporting the vision of a more circular economy through sustainable and innovative chemistry. Overall, circularity is one of our key principles and we strive to close the circle by reducing the use of primary raw materials in our products, refining our operating processes to minimize waste, and by offering innovative solutions to enable downstream industries to become more circular.”
Finavia hopes to use self-collected and recycled propylene glycol for aircraft de-icing and anti-icing at Helsinki Airport in the future. Elasmaa believes that the use of recycled fluid will increase in the coming years, and it has been introduced at other airports in Scandinavia as well, including airports in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
According to Elasmaa, the de-icing fluid at Helsinki Airport is currently recycled by collecting it with vacuum trucks and separate apron drainage systems, from where the fluid is delivered for further treatment at a wastewater treatment plant. This initiative forms part of Finavia’s goal to reduce its carbon emissions to net-zero by 2025.
Elasmaa said, “Currently, the fluid is used as an alternative carbon source, replacing methanol in the denitrification process, which is a sustainable way to dispose the used fluid too, but the lifecycle ends there. At Helsinki Airport, the goal will be achieved by 2024. The use of recycled de-icing fluid is one way to further reduce our emissions and increase circular economy.”
For more key sustainability updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.