Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Audrey McGowin, Ph.D. (Advisor); David Dolson, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Eric Fossum, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Benzotriazole (BTri) and its analog compounds are widely used in aircraft de-icing and anti-icing solutions, however their high solubility in water and resistance to biodegradation results in only their partial removal in wastewater treatment, and therefore makes them potential contaminants in watershed systems. The Wilmington Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio currently has two surface-runoff lagoons to pre-treat water containing these de-icing compounds before releasing it into nearby streams. Because the Wilmington Air Park has recently made an agreement with a major online retailer to lease over two dozen planes and open a package-sorting facility beginning in late 2019, the goal of this project was to determine the quantity of BTri compounds that may be present in runoff from the air park’s water treatment beds and establish a water quality baseline before the retailer begins their operations in Wilmington. Water samples were collected from three sites—Lytle Creek, Indian Run, and Cowan Creek—throughout a six-week period during the winter (January and February) of 2019 and isolated via solid-phase extraction, then analyzed for the presence of BTris using a quadrupole LC-MS in Single Ion Monitoring detection mode. No BTri compounds were detected in the control site (Cowan Creek) samples, and BTri was only detected in trace amounts (less than 0.100 µg/L) in the Lytle Creek and Indian Run sites. However, tolytriazole (TTri, collective name for the isomers of 4-methyl-1H-benzotriazole and 5-methyl-1H-benzotriazole) was found in the concentration ranges of 0.111-0.869 µg/L for the Indian Run site and 0.822-2.724 µg/L for the Lytle Creek site. Because the extraction process did not yield 100 percent elution of the analytes, a surrogate standard (5,6-dimethyl-benzotriazole) was used to calculate the maximum theoretical concentration ranges of TTri to correct for the percent recovery: 0.167-1.248 µg/L for the Indian Run site and 1.201-3.435 µg/L for the Lytle Creek site. These TTri concentrations corresponded well with the type of weather and precipitation conditions that would require the application of de-icing and anti-icing fluids to aircraft—the highest concentrations were detected when the temperature was the lowest and there was both freezing rain and snowfall, while the lowest concentrations were detected when the temperature was above 10°C (50°F).

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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