Biodegradation of propylene glycol and associated hydrodynamic effects in sand.


At airports around the world, propylene glycol (PG) based fluids are used to de-ice aircraft for safe operation. PG removal was investigated in 15-cm deep saturated sand columns. Greater than 99% PG biodegradation was achieved for all flow rates and loading conditions tested, which decreased the hydraulic conductivity of the sand by 1-3 orders of magnitude until a steady-state minimum was reached. Under constant loading at 120 mg PG/d for 15-30 d, the hydraulic conductivity (K) decreased by 2-2.5 orders of magnitude when the average linear velocity of the water was 4.9-1.4 cm/h. Variable PG loading in recirculation tests resulted in slower conductivity declines and lower final steady-state conductivity than constant PG feeding. After significant sand plugging, endogenous periods of time without PG resulted in significant but partial recovery of the original conductivity. Biomass growth also increased the dispersivity of the sand.

Cite this paper

@article{Bielefeldt2002BiodegradationOP, title={Biodegradation of propylene glycol and associated hydrodynamic effects in sand.}, author={Angela R. Bielefeldt and Tissa H. Illangasekare and Megan Uttecht and R Laplante}, journal={Water research}, year={2002}, volume={36 7}, pages={1707-14} }