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Oxygen demand of aircraft and airfield pavement deicers and alternative freezing point depressants

January 1, 2012

Aircraft and pavement deicing formulations and other potential freezing point depressants were tested for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). Propylene glycol-based aircraft deicers exhibited greater BOD5 than ethylene glycol-based aircraft deicers, and ethylene glycol-based products had lower degradation rates than propylene glycol-based products. Sodium formate pavement deicers had lower COD than acetate-based pavement deicers. The BOD and COD results for acetate-based pavement deicers (PDMs) were consistently lower than those for aircraft deicers, but degradation rates were greater in the acetate-based PDM than in aircraft deicers. In a 40-day testing of aircraft and pavement deicers, BOD results at 20°C (standard) were consistently greater than the results from 5°C (low) tests. The degree of difference between standard and low temperature BOD results varied among tested products. Freshwater BOD test results were not substantially different from marine water tests at 20°C, but glycols degraded slower in marine water than in fresh water for low temperature tests. Acetate-based products had greater percentage degradation than glycols at both temperatures. An additive component of the sodium formate pavement deicer exhibited toxicity to the microorganisms, so BOD testing did not work properly for this formulation. BOD testing of alternative freezing point depressants worked well for some, there was little response for some, and for others there was a lag in response while microorganisms acclimated to the freezing point depressant as a food source. Where the traditional BOD5 test performed adequately, values ranged from 251 to 1,580 g/kg. Where the modified test performed adequately, values of BOD28 ranged from 242 to 1,540 g/kg.

Publication Year 2012
Title Oxygen demand of aircraft and airfield pavement deicers and alternative freezing point depressants
DOI 10.1007/s11270-011-1036-x
Authors Steven R. Corsi, Dean Mericas, George Bowman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water, Air, & Soil Pollution
Index ID 70160341
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center