Responding to new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that could eventually become law, Octagon Process has developed a Type 1 de-icer fluid that uses less propylene glycol than typical fluids. According to Octagon president Joe McGrail, when propylene glycol gets into wetlands, it breaks down and microorganisms form and attack the glycol. These organisms need oxygen to survive and they pull it from the water, which deprives plants and fish of the oxygen they need to thrive. Conventional Type 1 fluids contain 85 to 88 percent glycol, according to Octagon.
Octagon’s EcoFlo Type 1 de-icer fluid costs 10 to 20 cents less per gallon than the company’s traditional Octaflo EF propylene glycol-based Type 1 de-icing fluid. EcoFlo replaces some of the glycol with glycerin, although McGrail wouldn’t reveal the exact percentage of glycol in EcoFlo. “It is a significant reduction,” he said. The new EcoFlo formulation reduces chemical oxygen demand by 25 percent and biochemical oxygen demand by 35 percent compared to glycol-based fluids.