The new fluid could be used on airplanes like the one shown in the picture.
Click on image for full size
Correl photography

The Wonder Fluid
News story originally written on August 12, 1997

At NASA Ames Research Center in California, a wonder fluid has been designed. This non-toxic fluid promises to make flying safer by keeping ice from building up on airplanes. The fluid is also thought to reduce rust and corrosion on cars and would be a good substitute for all of the salt used to de-ice our roads in the winter. On top of all of these qualities, the fluid is so environmentally safe that it is referred to as "food grade," because the ingredients used in its making have all been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food. This certainly could be a wonder fluid!

Worldwide, about a half a billion gallons of aircraft de-icing fluid are used annually. Currently used anti-icing fluids can sicken or kill water life, animals, and humans due to the ingredients used. Much of it could be replaced by the new non-toxic fluid according to co-inventor Haslim.

"When you look at the high costs of rust and other salt damage to cars, bridges, roads and the environment, it's obvious that using this new anti-icing fluid can save a lot of money," Haslim said. "You can even spray the stuff on your windshield the night before you go to work, and the next morning, the wiper blades will easily push the ice completely off the glass", he added.

The new fluid is neutral, neither an acid nor a base. Its color has been described as lime-green! The Ames fluid is now under test by government and industry for aircraft use. Comparison tests will be run against corrosive de-icing salts as well as other de-icing materials, such as calcium magnesium acetate. If the tests show the new fluid is about as good as salts for ice removal, the fluid will be tried on a highway test strip.

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Planetary Alignment 2002

In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA