Oxidized Starch Solutions for Environmentally Friendly Aircraft Deicers

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Deicers currently used for aircraft deicing, including ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, pose significant threats to surface waters, as a result of high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and toxicity to aquatic organisms. Oxidized starch may provide a less toxic deicer with lower BOD. The freezing point depression of starch formulations oxidized using hydrogen peroxide and catalysts (i.e., catalyzed hydrogen peroxide [H2O2] propagations—CHP) was 28°C, and viscosities similar to those of commercial deicers were achieved after post-treatment with granular activated carbon. The most effective oxidized starch formulation exerted a 5-day BOD up to 6 times lower than glycol deicers (103 versus 400 to 800 g O2/L). Toxicity to Ceriodaphnia dubia for this formulation (48-hour lethal concentration, 50% [LC50] of 2.73 g/L) was greater than pure propylene glycol (13.1 g/L), but lower than propylene glycol deicer formulations (1.02 g/L). Organic acids were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as the primary constituents in the oxidized starch solution. The proposed deicing system would provide effective deicing while exerting minimal environmental effects (e.g., lower toxicity to aquatic organisms and lower BOD). Furthermore, these deicers could be made from waste starch, promoting sustainability.
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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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