Electrodialytic remediation of creosote and CCA treated timber wastes
E P Mateus, A B Ribeiro, L Ottosen
There is a growing concern about the environmental issue of impregnated timber waste management, since an increase in the amount of waste of treated wood is expected over the next decades. Presently, no well-documented treatment technique is yet available for this type of waste. Alternative options concerning the disposal of treated wood are becoming more attractive to study, especially the ones that may promote its re-use. Inside this approach, the electrodialytic process (ED) seems a promising technique for removal of preservative chemicals from treated wood waste. The method uses a direct electric current and its effects in the matrix as the “cleaning agent”, combining the electrokinetic movement (mainly due to electromigration, but also electro-osmosis and electrophoresis), with the principle of electrodialysis.
This work reports results from the application of the electrodialytic process to an out-of-service Portuguese creosote and CCA-treated Pinus pinaster Ait. railway sleeper and pole. The behaviour of the process is described and the main results discussed. The average removal rate, estimated in accordance with prEN 12490, for creosote from treated timber waste was around 40 %.. For CCA treated timber waste, experimental conditions that could optimise the process efficiency (e.g. current density, time) were studied. The highest removal rates obtained until now, in our studies, were 93 % of Cu, 95 % of Cr and 99 % of As for sawdust using 2.5 % oxalic acid (w/w) as the assisting agent. For CCA treated wood waste in the form of chips, the best removal rates obtained until now were 84 % of Cu, 91 % of Cr and 97 % of As.