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Clariant enables Oslo Airport to recycle two-thirds of aircraft de-icer


Muttenz, – A new Clariant recycling plant for aircraft de-icer is being inaugurated today at Norway’s Oslo International Airport. In the coming 2011-12 winter, it is expected that the unit will reprocess 60-70% of the aircraft de-icer fluid (ADF) used in Oslo. The recycled product – mono propylene glycol (MPG) – will substitute an estimated 700 metric tonnes per year of virgin material in de-icing and heat transfer applications.

Recycling also will reduce the airport’s carbon footprint. Clariant estimates that carbon emissions over the life-cycle of de-icing will be reduced by an annual 2,800 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is roughly equivalent to the emissions of: 1) an average, new European passenger car1 being driven for 15 million kilometres; or 2) 7,400 round-trip flights2 between London and Oslo.

“Oslo’s new recycling plant will save precious natural resources and cut down on carbon,” said Jostein Skjefstad Avaition Expert at Oslo Airport. “This is a win-win for Oslo Airport,” commented Nigel Westlake Head of Aviation (Sales) for Clariant EMEA “so as its key de-icer supplier, this is also a win for us at Clariant.” Clariant provides the airport with its Safewing aircraft de-icers, as well as its EcoTain recycling process for aircraft de-icers.

Oslo’s move to EcoTain recycling follows similar moves by other European airports, including Munich Airport and Zurich Airport who use EcoTain systems from Clariant, annually recovering an estimated 2,000 metric tonnes of MPG.

Similar to the EcoTain plant at Zurich, the new one in Oslo will practice ‘offsite’ recycling. In an average expected winter, an estimated 7,000 metric tonnes of spent ADF, captured by drains under the de-icing platforms, will be treated and then concentrated to about 1,100 metric tonnes of 60-65% MPG within the 800-square-meter factory. This concentrate is further purified to commercial specifications for virgin MPG at a Clariant site.

The EcoTain recycling operations at Munich, by contrast, are ‘onsite’, Using similar processes the system converts spent ADF into fresh ADF entirely within the confines of the airport.

1 That emits about 150 g CO2e per km driven.
2 According to, this emits just over 300 kg of CO2 per passenger, per roundtrip.

Clariant is an internationally active specialty chemical company based in Muttenz near Basel. The group owns over 100 companies worldwide and employed approx. 16,200 employees as of December 31, 2010. In the financial year 2010, Clariant produced a turnover in excess of CHF 7 billion. Clariant is divided into twelve business units: Additives; Catalysis & Energy; Detergents & Intermediates; Emulsions; Functional Materials; Industrial & Consumer Specialties; Leather Services; Masterbatches; Oil & Mining Services; Paper Specialties; Pigments; Textile Chemicals.


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