Is It Spring Yet? No? Then Let’s Talk Deicing

Portland spring hasn’t really sprung yet, so it might seem premature to think ahead to next winter. However, the Portland International Airport deicing team is hard at work on a project that will go into an important test phase this fall.

The deicing system enhancement project is a multi-year effort to expand the system that captures and manages runoff from aircraft and runway deicing during wintry conditions. Major construction on the project ended this spring, so now the team is turning its attention to the operation of the new system components. One piece of this is commissioning a new anaerobic reactor that will treat runoff containing deicing fluid. How are we doing this? By feeding tiny microorganisms to help them grow and reproduce within the system so that when the treatment facility is turned on in the fall, the microorganisms are ready to eat – and accordingly break down – glycol, the active and biodegradable ingredient in deicing material.

Learn more about the project in a new videocast just added to the Port’s website!