Virgin propylene glycol and Type I ADF additive pack are delivered by truck and stored prior to blending. A 153,000-gallon tank is used for storage of virgin propylene glycol, and a 20,000-gallon tank is used for storage of the additive pack. Type I ADF is blended onsite using a 23,000-gallon tank at the glycol recycling facility. Once blended and certified to meet the manufacturer’s specifications, the concentrated Type I ADF is stored in eight 20,000-gallon supply tanks. The blended, undiluted Type I ADF is delivered unheated to pads A, J, and WA via an underground 8-inch supply line. The underground supply line feeds four Type I load stations on pad WA, six Type I load stations on pad J, and a 20,000-gallon tank located in a deicing operations building (the icehouse) on pad A. The heated Type I ADF can be pumped to fixed booms on pad A, or loaded into trucks at four load stations at the icehouse.
Type IV is delivered to the airport by the fluid supplier ready to use; it does not require blending and is not mixed with water.
Spent ADF mixes with stormwater runoff on the deicing pads, and together they flow into the pads’ perimeter trench drain collection systems, which then gravity-feed via underground piping to the recycling plant. Five holding tanks with a capacity of 420,000 gallons each and an 800,000-gallon storage tank dedicated to pad WA stores the collected ADF until a minimum amount has been collected to begin operations at the plant.
A two-stage reclamation process includes sending the collected fluids through Glycol Concentrators and a Distillation System. The Glycol concentrators, which are proprietary equipment owned by Inland, were added to the airport’s existing distillation system, allowing for the minimum glycol concentration acceptable for recycling to be reduced from 8 to 10 percent down to 1 percent. Fluid with less than 1 percent glycol is sent to Metro.
In the first stage of reclamation, the concentrators separate excess water from the collected glycol/stormwater mixture, resulting in a concentrated feed stock of up to 50 percent glycol for the distillation stage, where it is converted into greater than or equal to 99 percent glycol. The distilled effluent is then run through a demineralization/deionization unit, or polisher, to remove trace airfield contaminants, and the resulting product is sold for industrial applications, such as reuse in glycol deicing fluid, heat transfer fluid, and automotive coolant.
In an effort to maximize the collection of spent ADF, aircraft are required to be positioned on the deicing pads so that all ADF runoff will fall within the waste collection trench drains. As required by DEN’s Part 190 Aircraft Deicing Regulations, notice and authorization requirements prior to conducting any de-icing operation are critical to ensuring that the system is capturing spent ADF that can be recycled, which protects the surrounding environment.
The goal is to capture at least 69 percent of ADF applied, a goal that has been achieved for the last seven deicing seasons. In October 2010, FAA awarded DEN four grants, one for $1.4 million to increase the operational efficiency and flexibility of the deicing facility.
Recycling waste products is a common business opportunity suitable for a public-private partnership. Two key contractual variables make a glycol facility a viable enterprise: the quality of the untreated glycol mixture before it’s recycled and the quantity guaranteed to be delivered to the recycling plant.
Quality means the amount of glycol in the waste stream compared to other substances. Quantity is equally important because the recycler must have enough raw material to make enough saleable glycol product. Accordingly, the public partner (in this case the airport or a credit-worthy consortium of airlines) agrees to provide influent of a specific, minimum quality and quantity, and if it doesn’t, it pays the recycler a scheduled amount of money.
If the airport supplies a lot more than the minimum amount of raw product, the airport pays nothing to the recycler. Likewise, if the recycler is able to make a lot more saleable product than is necessary to break even, the airport often gets a share of the profits. Moreover, the contracts often include a sliding payment scale, whereby the airport pays the recycler less as the influent volume (and quality) increases above the minimum and gets a larger share of the profits (or a fixed payment per gallon) as the recycler sells more product.