Eliminating CFC-113 and Methyl Chloroform in Aircraft Maintenance Procedures
Thai Airways International, the Government of Thailand, the International Cooperative for Environmental Leadership (ICEL) (formerly the International Cooperative for Ozone Layer Protection (ICOLP)), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have agreed to cooperate to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances in aircraft maintenance solvent cleaning applications. The project is undertaken as part of the World Bank Global Solvents Project under the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol. This manual has been developed as part of this program. It will prove useful to other airlines because aircraft maintenance procedures apply to all airlines, regardless of location or size. The manual has been prepared by an international committee of experts from the airline and aerospace industries, the environmental agencies of Sweden and the United States, and the United States Air Force. Committee members represent both developed and developing countries.
The manual describes a step-by-step approach for characterizing the use of ozone-depleting solvents and identifying and evaluating alternatives. It is a "howto" document which describes all of the steps necessary to successfully phase out the use of CFC-113 and methyl chloroform (MCF) in aircraft maintenance applications. Many of the alternatives described are currently in use at major airlines around the world. The manual addresses major maintenance cleaning applications and gives brief descriptions of the commercially available alternatives to CFC-113 and MCF. The manual provides sufficient technical information on the solvent alternatives to enable users to gather more detailed information on their alternatives of choice. A list of equipment and materials vendors is provided.
The manual's major findings remove misconceptions prevalent at many airlines. These findings are:
- Airlines can use any alternatives which meet aircraft standards without the explicit approval of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) -- At least two of the three large manufacturers of commercial jet aircraft have published and distributed performance-based standards recommended for use by airlines. Alternatives which meet these standards can be used without approval of the OEM.
- The OEM will provide the names of alternatives for some but not all applications of CFC-113 and MCF -- Several OEMs have explicitly stated that they are not actively qualifying solvent alternatives, and that this responsibility lies with the airline. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule.
- CFC-113 and MCF have been used unnecessarily in many cleaning applications -- These solvents have been used for many years in applications for which they were never intended. Reductions in consumption of more than 50 percent have been reported as the result of eliminating use of CFC113 and MCF in unnecessary applications.
Airlines have chosen to identify and test solvent alternatives on their own rather than wait for more direct involvement from the OEMs. Lufthansa and SAS have virtually eliminated their use of CFC-113 and MCF through this proactive approach. Others are well on their way towards significantly reducing their consumption. This manual documents these successful phaseouts.
- Eliminating CFC-113 and Methyl Chloroform in Aircraft Maintenance Procedures:
- Part 1 (PDF, 85 pp., 336K, about PDF)
- Part 2 (PDF, 131 pp., 483K, about PDF)