The Eco-Friendly Skies: Greening the Airline Industry

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Aircraft De-icingYet another product has been added to the list of new and innovative things we can make from corn. Recently, Dupont Tate & Lyle Bio Products announced that, working in conjunction with Kilfrost, a major producer of de- and anti-icing fluids for aircraft, they have come up with a new de-icer derived from non-petroleum sources — namely, corn and sugar.

Dupont is making this new de-icer from a proprietary concoction called Susterra propanediol, a specialty glycol that they proudly state they make from entirely sustainable sources. DFSustain, the new de-icing agent, is the first in what both companies hope will be a series of sustainable, eco-friendly aviation products used as de-icers and coolants. Kilfrost claims their new fluid functions in temperatures as low as -40°C and that it requires 40% less energy to manufacture while out-performing all other comparable products on the market.

A Flybe AirplaneTheir claims are currently being put to the test. Flybe, the largest regional airline in Europe, is using the new green fluid in their fleet this winter. If DFSustain can live up to Kilfrost’s estimates, it will reduce the airline’s carbon footprint by 140 tons this season alone.

Photo Credit: shashamane and scot_w_9 at flickr

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