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Environmentally friendly de-icer

Guest Mary Anne Wuennecke

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Guest Mary Anne Wuennecke

A new technology that de-ices planes and airport runways and pavements with less impact to the environment has garnered its development team the Regional Industrial Innovation award from the American Chemical Society.


The technology - called D3: Degradable by Design Deicer - was created by a team of scientists from the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of Richland, Wash. The D3 is a family of non-toxic biodegradable fluids used to remove and prevent the formation of snow and ice on aircraft, airport runways, roads and pavement. It can also prevent snow from sticking to deiced surfaces, providing additional protection.


The team members are Satya Chauhan, Nicholas Conkle and Melissa Roshon, of Battelle, and William Samuels, of PNNL.


"Removing ice and snow from these types of surfaces is a high priority to ensure transportation safety worldwide, but the high toxicity levels of previous deicing products posed environmental threats," said Chauhan, who leads the multi-disciplinary team.


D3 was developed to be more environmentally friendly and is manufactured primarily from bio-based materials. The award-winning deicing products — EcoFlo for aircraft deicing/anti-icing and Battelle-RDF for runwaypavement decicing/anti-icing — substantially reduce toxicity levels and potential environmental damage as well as corrosion of aircraft materials while providing the same performance and benefits of other commercial deicing products.


The technology is available for use by the military and commercial airlines for aircraft and runway deicing and is also potentially available for consumer deicing products. The evaluation of these products for military use was partially funded by two Defense Department programs -- SERDP (Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program) and ESTCP (Environmental Security Technology Certification Program). D3 also received a 2004 R&D 100 Award for aircraft deicing/anti-icing as well as a 2008 R&D 100 Award for runway deicing/anti-icing.


Chauhan and Samuels accepted the award at the ACS Northwest/Rocky Mountain regional meeting in Park City, Utah in June.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America's most intractable problems in energy, national security and the environment. PNNL employs 4,000 staff and has a $855 million annual budget. Battelle has managed PNNL since the lab's inception in 1965.


Battelle is the world's largest non-profit independent research and development organization, providing innovative solutions to the world's most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management, National Security, Energy Technology, and Health and Life Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $4 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 20,400 employees in more than 120 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories, which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Battelle also is one of the nation's leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science and math education.

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