Each winter, the airport grapples with between 5 million and 7 million gallons of stormwater containing varying amounts of glycol from its three deicing pads. This fluid is traditionally discharged at a high cost to Syracuse’s wastewater treatment facility. The glycol collection usually produced effluent with concentration of about 1% glycol to water — typically too low for glycol recycling to process efficiently.
We provided design-build services for a new glycol recycling facility, working with the team of Aeromag as the operator and financier and Vilokan ADF Solutions as the specialty equipment supplier.
The new facility implements a five-step process, the first in the world to recycle glycol concentrations as low as 0.25% back into a usable deicing product.
Aeromag/Syracuse Regional Airport Authority
Syracuse, New York
A low-concentration evaporator takes fluid from 0.25% to 10% glycol concentrations.
The 10% glycol is filtered to remove thickeners or residual oils and fuel.
A second evaporator processes the 10% fluid up to 50% glycol concentration.
A distiller separates the remaining water, taking the fluid to 99.5% pure glycol.
The pure glycol is mixed with an additive pack from an AMS 1424-certified Type I deicing fluid manufacturer to create aircraft deicing fluid.
The facility will produce — on-site — 5 million to 7 million gallons of clean water and more than 550,000 gallons of AMS 1424 Type I aviation deicing fluid. This will result in up to 16.5 million pounds of carbon reduction annually compared to traditional disposal and creation of new deicing fluid.
In a concerted effort to address limited on-site storage for the previous season’s collected glycol effluent, our team sited and staged this project to allow for operation of the low-concentration evaporator to begin three months before the rest of the project. The whole system was completed in fall 2023, before the first heavy snow in the region, going from initial design to full operation in just 18 months.
The new facility is expected to save the airport nearly $200,000 annually and discussions are underway to recycle glycol from other airports in the region.
The airport had an existing glycol collection, storage and treatment system with two 47,500-barrel stormwater holding tanks, added in 2018, and a lagoon. The recycling facility is fed by the new centralized deicing facility, so the ability to maximize the capture of spent glycol effluent, as well as melting equipment to handle any potential pink snow, is crucial.
As the design-build contractor, our team designed and constructed foundations, service connections, fiberglass and polyurethane tanks, and a 3,500-square-foot building. Multiple subcontractors constructed the building and equipment foundations and installed tanks installation and process piping.