For safety reasons - Aircraft wings have to be free of ice and snow
Worldwide, more than 41 million airplanes with over 4 billion passengers take off in the course of a year. During the winter months, ice and snow on the wings can interfere with lift, which can lead to crashes. To prevent that, special fluids are used to deice planes and protect them from reicing before take-off. They are colored differently to facilitate telling them apart and see whether they have been spread evenly.
Challenge: environmental impact of de- and anti-icing-fluid
De- and anti-icing fluids are based on either ethylene or propylene glycol. While glycols are easily biodegradable, the degradation process uses up large amounts of oxygen thus potentially harms aquatic organisms. Flight cancellations due to lack of deicing fluid are another, completely different challenge due to insufficient stocking and/or logistics.
Clariant is one of the largest manufacturers of deicing and anti-icing fluids in the world. With the Safewing™ portfolio Clariant offers different kinds of deicing fluids (Type I) and anti-icing fluids (Type II and IV). The deicing fluids are used to remove ice and snow from planes by spraying the heated fluid with high pressure onto the surfaces. Type II and type IV anti-icing fluids are used to coat aircraft parts with a viscous layer that protects against the new formation of ice, greatly extending the time window for the take-off of the aircraft. Before the aircraft leaves the ground, their viscosity drops significantly due to various mechanical forces, thus flowing off.
All Clariant deicing and anti-icing fluids have a superior environmental profile thanks to their fully biodegradable additive packages and low surfactant content. Furthermore, Clariant has developed a special on-site recycling program that ensures that up to 70 percent of the glycol can be re-used in the production of deicing fluids. Due to its global presence, Clariant has the logistic capability to provide regional airports with very short lead times.
Effective against snow and ice with a superior environmental profile – delivered quickly and reliably all over the world.
Effective deicing and long holdover times have helped to make air traffic safe for decades
Short delivery times and a tested service provide maximum planning security
Elimination and reduction of problematic ingredients plus highly effective recycling concepts