Kemira supplies the world’s airport industry with a range of organic salts designed to ensure the required friction for traffic operational surfaces, through the prevention of ice and snow build-up, in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Environmentally friendly runway de-icers
The company specializes in the production of organic salts based on acetic and formic acids and one of our major activities includes the development, production and marketing of environmentally friendly runway de-icers. The product range includes both liquid and solid products.
In 1987 BP Chemicals developed Clearway 1, the first acetate-based runway de-icer. Until 1999 Verdugt BV was a subsidiary of BP Chemicals and was their European de-icer manufacturer producing environmentally safe anti-icers and de-icers. After a period of different ownerships, the company was acquired in April 2005 by Kemira. Over the years Clearway has grown into one of the most widely used runway de-icers, marketed in Europe and Asia.
Liquid and solid runway de-icers
Clearway 1 and 3 are potassiumacetate-based liquid runway de-icers. Clearway 1 was the first environmentally friendly de-icer in Europe, introduced in 1987.
Clearway F1 is a potassium formate-based liquid runway de-icer, complementing the portfolio to meet the requirements of our customers.
Clearway 6s is a sodium acetate-based solid runway de-icers, while Clearway SF3 is a sodium formate-based one.
All products are approved according to the AMS-standards and independent tests that are performed regularly by Scientific Material International, USA.
Clearway de-icer benefits
Clearway products have several environmental benefits compared to competing products and are readily biodegradable, with a lower oxygen demand than traditional de-icers like urea and glycol-based products. Clearway products have successfully replaced such products. In replacing urea, problems related to nitrogen, effluents are eliminated. By eliminating this problem, collection and water treatment is no longer deemed necessary.
Clearway products are tested according to German standards, by the Hygiene Institute des Ruhrgebiets, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Clearway products are not water endangering. The tests include acute toxicity to bacteria, acute toxicity to fish, biological degradation behavior and acute oral toxicity to mammals. Unlike urea, Clearway products do not degrade to form ammonia, and are therefore not toxic to fish.
Clearway products melt ice and snow effectively, thus improving air traffic access at the airport. Experience gained at various airports shows that Clearway products melt ice and snow more rapidly than any other de-icers.
Clearway products melt ice by depressing the freezing point of water. Due to freezing points down to -60°C, the resultant solution has a much lower freezing point. Clearway products will only refreeze once the solution has become
significantly diluted, to the point where the freezing point is above the temperature of the surface.
The eutectic point for urea is at -11°C, i.e. urea will not de-ice below this temperature. In practice, it has been observed that urea does not work at or below -5°C. The eutectic point for Clearway 1 is lower than -22°C and allows Clearway 1 to be used at significantly lower temperatures. The features of the other Clearway products are similar.
One of the key factors in the superior ice melting performance of Clearway products is the low surface tension and high penetration characteristic. The liquid phase guarantees an immediate, effective contact with the ice surface, so that the
freezing point is depressed immediately across the surface. The other factor in its high performance is the remarkable capacity to depress the freezing point of water.
One notable advantage of Clearway products compared to glycol-based de-icers is that the viscosity is not drastically affected by falling temperatures. There is no need to adjust spraying equipment as the temperature falls, nor are loading/unloading
routines adversely affected.
Throughout our manufacturing process, the emphasis is on chemical purity and the highest standards of quality control. In an industry where precise measurement and constant monitoring is the
exception rather than the rule, we have a corporate reputation for
consistency and quality, backed up by our ISO-9002 and ISO 14000 certification.