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Understanding and managing de-icer contamination of airport surface waters: a synthesis and future perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Technology and Innovation
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)46-62
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date9/01/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


De-icers containing propylene glycol and potassium acetate are a major source of organic pollution in airport surface waters. Direct discharges of these pollutants into receiving waters, even at very low concentrations, can result in detrimental environmental impacts and may breech regulatory requirements. The airport operator is responsible for devising a de-icer management plan (DMP) which outlines the pollution prevention strategies adopted to manage contaminated runoff. This poses one of the most significant environmental management challenges in the aviation sector. Within this review article, we conceptualise the transport and fate of de-icing fluids in the environment and consider the implications for management of runoff from airports. We examine the treatment technologies that are currently incorporated into DMPs in the aviation industry. Finally, we review the current application of subsurface flow treatment.
wetlands, an eco-innovative technology for advanced treatment of industrial strength wastewaters,
and consider priorities for future research related to this emerging technology.