Japanese airline ANA announces environmental ground initiatives on de-icing fluids and courtesy vehicles
The zero emissions Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV), one of the model vehicles to be used in the ANA trial
Thu 24 Feb 2011 – All Nippon Airways (ANA) has placed a major order for what is claimed to be the world’s first de-icing fluid based on glycol from a sustainable source. The DFsustain de-icing fluid is manufactured by UK-based Kilfrost, which has been supplying the international aviation industry with de-icing and anti-icing fluids for over 75 years. It has developed the de-icing fluid using the Susterra propanediol non-petroleum alternative glycol created by DuPont Tate and Lyle BioProducts. The product is a corn sugar-derived glycol, which Kilfrost says is not only sustainable but also completely recyclable. As part of the Japanese government-backed Hydrogen Highway Project, ANA is to introduce fuel cell electric vehicles into its fleet of passenger courtesy cars and a two-month trial is now in progress.
The sustainable de-icing fluid order by ANA follows a trial carried out over last year’s winter season. DFsustain has the potential to use up to 40% less energy in manufacturing than more traditional fluids, says Kilfrost, and in performance tests the fluid was effective at temperatures as low as -40 degrees C.
“Using a sustainable glycol for something as readily used as de-icing and anti-icing fluid will have a dramatic and immediate impact on aviation’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kilfrost Chief Executive Gary Lydiate. “Not only does the fluid’s production see a large reduction in the consumption of non-renewable energy, with its manufacture using up to 40% less than standard glycol, the product itself is readily biodegradable and has low toxicity. Estimates based on design data suggest that in terms of CO2 the consumption of one million litres of DFsustain would see a potential but significant carbon reduction of 6,500 tonnes.”
ANA says it is the first Japanese airline to receive its government’s ‘Eco-First’ certification and is participating in a series of initiatives to verify the viability of hydrogen use in ground vehicles.
Initially, the fuel cell vehicles are being trialled up till the end of March as part of the airline’s ‘Welcome-Home Limousine Taxi Service’, which is currently available to premium passengers arriving at Tokyo’s Narita Airport on designated European and United States flights.
An ANA spokesman said: “ANA is committed to helping combat climate change by improving the fuel efficiency of its aircraft. Now our passengers will be able to make their contribution by cutting CO2 emissions when they continue their journeys by road.”