Airports use a de-icing fluid on aircrafts before take-off. The fluids contain glycol, which needs to be treated and disposed of after use. The Swedish company Vilokan is now working with the Syracuse Hancock International Airport to realize the world’s largest glycol recycling and water purification plant, which would save water, decrease the environmental impact and reduce costs.
Vilokan will design and provide the technology and equipment to the plant. The system in Syracuse will be the fourth Airport in North America to utilise the Vilokan Group’s Glycol Recycling systems.
The plant will have the capacity to treat 20 million gallons of water, produce 5,500 tons of glycol, and reduce CO2 emissions by 27,225 tons each year. The numbers are equivalent to the annual emissions of 5,380 cars in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
With twelve Nordic and two Canadian airports already on its customer list, the Vilokan Group is seeing increased interest from the U.S. market. Deliveries to Cleveland, Ohio, are now followed by a major order for $4.8 million for the equipment to be used in Syracuse, New York.
How it works
Thanks to energy-efficient LCE (Low Concentration Evaporation) technology, all water collected from the airport’s apron can be treated, even the flow containing low concentrations of glycol. As a result, the glycol can be recovered while the water is treated, and both can then be reused in a closed-loop process. The glycol raw material from spent de-icing fluid on the airfield is collected, separated from stormwater, and recycled to produce certified Type I de-icing fluid that can be used again at the airport.
Replacing traditional methods that increase emissions
Today, biological methods are commonly used to treat the waste glycol before discharge to the environment. These processes break down the glycol into water and carbon dioxide (CO2). With Vilokan’s separation technologies, this is avoided, and airports can lower their CO2 emissions, reduce their water footprint, significantly reduce wastewater treatment disposal costs, and reduce their de-icing fluid purchase costs by creating an available supply on-site.