The Abydoz design is proprietary and is patented in 30 countries.

NEIA Newsletter, Spring 2001, Treating Aircraft Deicing Fluids the Natural Way

Although Canadian airlines have been using aircraft de-icing fluids for decades, Transport Canada made it mandatory in 1991 for aircraft de-icing on sub-zero days with precipitation. This regulation made it safe for the winter traveler, however glycol, a highly toxic component of aircraft de-icing fluid, has been causing problems for the environment around airports ever since.

Each time an aircraft is deiced hundreds of litres of glycol and residuals are left on airport runways. This glycol, carried by rainwater then makes its' way to storm sewers and finally to local rivers, bays and oceans causing a depletion of oxygen in the waters. Without oxygen in the ecosystem, marine life dies.

Abydoz Environmental has a waste management system, referred to as a Kickuth BioReactor Engineered Wetland, to significantly reduce the toxic levels of glycol in airport runoff. Glycol contaminated runoff can contain concentrations of up to 70,000 mg/l COD (chemical oxygen demand). The regulated limits for discharge to water bodies varies in different provinces and states, however it generally must be less than 100 mg/l COD.

In many airports this runoff is collected by trucks or channeled into a collection system at a deicing pad. After collection it is often recycled by mechanical means on-site or it is trucked for recycling and eventual discharge of the un-recycled portion to sewer systems or other disposal sites.

Abydoz's Kickuth BioReactor is an on-site treatment system. As a result, trucking glycol-contaminated runoff away for treatment is not required as all effluents are dealt with and broken down on the site where they are created. The discharged effluent meets all environmental limits (less than 100 mg/l COD) and the airlines and airports save money. It's a win, win situation for all involved.

According to Rod Vatcher, Vice President of Abydoz, the technology available from his company has been in use at Zurich Airport in Switzerland and Schonefeld Airport in Berlin, Germany since 1993 and 1995, respectively. Abydoz has acquired the rights to this technology for North America from the Kickuth Group of Germany.

The Abydoz design is proprietary and is patented in 30 countries. It is a natural system, very aesthetically pleasing, requires very few mechanical parts, and no additives. To date over 600 Kickuth BioReactor Systems have been installed worldwide. Other than glycol treatment the system has been successfully used to treat landfill leachate, (important in Newfoundland today), steel mill effluents, chemical plant effluents, agricultural runoffs, stormwater runoffs, municipal sewage and many other waste streams.

This article originally appeared on the Spring 2001 edition of the NEIA Newsletter.