COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- While traditional de-icers help make runways and airplanes safe, the formulas can be harmful to the environment. Now, two new de-icers are safe for both flying and nature.
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Long-time pilot Tony Hirsch knows how bad ice can make things on the runway and on the plane.
“Ice on the airplane wing can deform the aerodynamic of the wing to the point where it won’t create the lift that we need to fly," Hirsch told Ivanhoe.
While traditional de-icers work well, the formulas are toxic and almost all of it goes into our water systems.
“If you don’t collect it, it goes into the storm water, and the storm water goes into receiving waters like lakes and rivers and so on," Satya Chauhan, Ph.D., a chemical engineer at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, told Ivanhoe.
Dr. Chauhan led a team of chemists and engineers to create two new formulas of de-icers for aircraft and runways. Both are made with bio-based materials.
“Bio-based materials are often more biodegradable, so they don’t persist in the environment for days and months afterward, which is good," Dr. Chauhan said.
Studies show the new aircraft de-icer reduced the need for oxygen and was 35 percent less toxic to the environment. The runway formula was 50 percent less harmful. Both work just as well as traditional formulas on dangerous ice.
The new de-icers help make both the environment and flying safe. This winter is the first year the new environmentally friendly de-icers have been used. So far 10 airports are using them, mainly on the east coast.
The Materials Research Society and the American Waterworks Association contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.