Portland International Jetport - Aircraft Deicing Facility

  2019 Annual Airport Innovation Award Winner: Most Innovative Airport (Small/Medium Hub)

$12.5 Million In-House De-Icing Facility

  • $11.5 Million Federal Grant
  • $260,000 State
  • $780,000 Local
  • 9 Year Timeline

In 2009, PWM partnered with Inland Technologies International to assist with refining our environmental management systems, focusing on winter operations and storm water quality management. The goal was to develop an on-site glycol recycling facility that could manufacture Aircraft Deicing Fluid (ADF) from collected effluent. This effluent typically contains 1-10% glycol and recycling results in a 50% “raw-grade” glycol product. “Clean water” generated from the process would then be discharged into the local waste water treatment facility.

Glycol Recovery Facility

In 2011, a temporary facility was put in place to test the process viability and a distinct economic benefit to producing virgin-quality glycol on-site was determined. In 2016, a permanent facility was built that can further refine the 50% raw-grade into a high-grade glycol product. Presently, PWM is the first airport in the United States to capture, mix and spray 100% recycled aircraft deicing fluid. In addition, effluent from other airports in the region is received and processed for recycling. The final product is sold to those regional airports, closing the loop on reclamation and recycling.

Summary

In 2009, the Portland International Jetport partnered with Inland Technologies International to assist with refining our environmental management systems, focusing on winter operations and stormwater quality management. At that time, the Portland International Jetport tasked Inland Technologies with the development of an on-site glycol recycling facility. The objective was to collect effluent down to the 1% glycol contamination level and process it to produce a 50% glycol product. Inland Technologies produced a 50% “raw-grade” material and discharged “clean water” generated in the process to a local wastewater treatment facility. In the time since 2009, it had become clear that there was an opportunity to further refine the raw-grade glycol product into a higher-grade glycol that could be used throughout the region.

Recognizing the opportunity, Inland Technologies developed an industrial process to refine the 50% concentrate to a “virgin-quality” glycol product on-site at the Portland International Jetport. Temporary facilities were put in place to test the process viability and it was determined that there were distinct economic benefits to producing virgin-quality glycol on-site. In 2015, a contract was negotiated between the Portland International Jetport and Inland Technologies to build a permanent facility to refine and produce a high-grade glycol product.

The Portland International Jetport announced that for the 2017-2018 winter season, Type I ADF was manufactured onsite from 100% reclaimed glycols. Presently, all Type I deicing fluid sprayed on aircrafts at PWM is from reclaimed fluid. The Portland Jetport is producing the first recycled aircraft deicing fluid certified for resale in the country. In addition, the plant has two new revenue streams for PWM. It sells the deicing fluid it produces, and it collects fees from other airports for accepting their deicing effluent.

Read more on the PWM website or read the story in Airport Improvement

For more information on this project, contact Charles Norton, PE, at cnorton@portlandmaine.gov or 207.756.8026.