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Fire resistance of preservative treated fence posts
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30033
Pine fence posts were pressure treated separately with CCA-C, CCA-wax, CCA-oil and creosote. Treated posts and untreated controls were planted in the ground in a randomised block design, weathered for six months and then subjected to a controlled burning test using two fuel loads. Creosote treatment increased the time that posts were alight whereas CCA treatment had no such effect. However, CCA treated posts smouldered until destruction of the majority of the posts occurred. Posts treated with CCA-oil took longer for destruction to occur than posts treated with CCA-C or CCA-wax. Creosote treated posts and untreated controls did not show prolonged smouldering and consequently were not destroyed by the burning test, although their strength was reduced. A high fuel load increased the time that posts were alight and smouldering, and for CCA treated posts decreased their time to destruction.
P D Evans, P J Beutel, C F Donnelly, R B Cunningham


Inspection results of preservative treated stakes, maximum 33 years in field
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3690
Since in 1958, we have undertaken field experiments in Japan. For these field experiments, we used sapwoods of Japanese cedar called Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) because of majority of plantation forest soft wood species in Japan. For some preservatives, we added sapwood of Japanese beech called Buna (Fagus crenata), a main Japanese hard wood species. Dimensions of these specimens were 30 x 30 x 600 mm³ (T x R x L). About 30 preservatives mainly water born but 20% of oil born preservatives included, were examined for this test. We checked the damage rating every year by the observation. The service life of the preservative treated stakes were estimated at the period when the average damage rating of stakes were reached beyond 2.5 . Creosote oil, creosote oil mixed heavy oil (75:25 and 50:50) and creosote oil mixed coal tar (75:25 and 50:50) are still sound conditions for 33 years. CCA (JIS K 1554 Type 1) 2% and Tancas C 2% are still sound conditions for 28 years. Because of soft rot, the treated Buna specimens were shorten as ones of treated Sugi.
K Suzuki, K Yamamoto, M Inoue, S Matsuoka


Comparison of decay rates of preservative-treated stakes in field and fungus cellar tests
1980 - IRG/WP 2135
With the exception of acid-copper-chromate, zinc-chrome-arsenate, and sodium pentachlorophenoxide, the relative performance of preservatives in the fungus cellar was similar to that in the field.
M E Hedley


Biological effectiveness of ground-contact wood preservatives as determined by field exposure stake tests
1984 - IRG/WP 3297
Field exposure tests conducted on stakes treated with different creosotes, mixtures of creosote and waxy oil as well as different CCA wood preservatives over a period of 25 years, gave the following results: The CCA preservatives provided excellent biological protection to treated stakes, especially against fungal attack. The CCA Type I, currently approved for use under South African conditions is not inferior to the CCA Type II during long-term ground-contact exposure if the active elemental contents and effective retentions are taken into consideration. The creosotes provided good protection against termite attack but showed fairly poor fungal resistance during long-term ground-contact exposure under wet conditions. The addition of waxy oil greatly improved the effectiveness of creosotes against fungal attack. The CCA preservatives proved to be a better overall ground-contact preservative compared with the creosotes.
W E Conradie, A Pizzi


Studies on the fungicidal effectiveness of a petrol derived product as a creosote alternative
1986 - IRG/WP 3384
This work, appears first because of the necessity to find out a profitable use for a residual product of the petrol pyrolisis, and second, because the lack of high natural durability wood used until now-a-days to build posts and sleepers in creosote lacking countries. Our main objective was pointed to the characterization of this new product and to find out the effectiveness against the wood-destroying fungi, compared to the creosote response.
A M Navarrete, M T De Troya.


Preservative effectiveness of medium temperature creosote oil
1990 - IRG/WP 3597
Medium temperature creosote oil (MTC) was prepared by removing light naphthalene oil and heavy anthracene oil from the coal tar by means of fractional distillation. We conducted the effectiveness test of MTC in accordance with the JWPA method for testing effectiveness of surface coatings with preservatives against decay fungi. The soil treatment test against Serpula lacrymans was also carried out with Kanuma-soil. Preservative effectiveness of MTC was sufficient for wood against Tyromyces palustris and Serpula lacrymans. The hyphal growth of Serpula lacrymans to the treated layer with MTC from the nutrient one is suppressed in the soil treatment test.
S Doi, A Yamada, Y Suda


Performance of preservative-treated timber against biodeterioration in Indian waters
1984 - IRG/WP 4106
Results on the investigation on the durability of panels of 32 timber species, pressure-treated with various preservatives and exposed along the Indian coast for varying periods upto a maximum of 15 years, are summarised. Panels of even non-durable timber gave excellent results against biodeterioration after treatment. Their life was comparable to that of treated durable timber. The preservative treatment enhanced their service lifes several times more than in their natural condition. Creosant, CCA, pure creosote, creosote-fuel oil and creosote-coal tar mixtures were found very efficient preservatives in retarding borer damage. reasons for the premature failure of some treated panels, such as degradation of preservatives due to variable leaching rate, difference in the predominant types of borers prevalent at various stations investigated and also the effect of fouling and pollution on borer infestation, have also been discussed.
L N Santhakumaran, J C Jain, M C Tewari


Fungicidal properties of wood tar being a side product of pyrolysis of previously treated wood with preservatives
2004 - IRG/WP 04-30340
The objective of the paper was to estimate the limit of the fungicidal value of wood tar being a product of pyrolysis of wood previously treated with creosote oil or salt preservative of the CCB type. The effectiveness of wood tar in wood protection against fungi causing brown rot and soft rot was compared to the effectiveness of creosote oil (type WEI-B). Wood was impregnated with alcohol solutions of the preservatives and next subjected to the action of the following fungi: Coniophora puteana, Poria placenta and Coriolus versicolor. The fungicidal values of the investigated preservatives were determined with the use of the short agar block method and the ageing test according to the standard PN-EN 84. It was found that wood tar being a product of pyrolysis of used wood which was previously treated may be a potential preservative for wood protection or a component of preservatives. However, better fungicidal properties were found for wood tar obtained from wood previously treated with creosote oil.
B Mazela, M Kielczewski, W Grzeskowiak


Studies on the fungicidal effectiveness of a petroleum derived product as a creosote alternative
1986 - IRG/WP 3384 E
This work, appears first because of the necessity to find out a profitable use for a residual product of the petrol pyrolisis, and second, because the lack of high natural durability wood used until now-a-days to build posts and sleepers in creosote lacking countries. Our main objective was pointed to the characterization of this new product and to find out the effectiveness against the wood-destroying fungi, compared to the creosote response.
A M Navarrete, M T De Troya


Potential use of an emulsified tar oil fraction as a wood preservative: Preliminary technological and environmental assessment
1994 - IRG/WP 94-50028
In order to meet the recent environmental concern specifications of creosote are altered, the B[a]P content is limited and restrictions on the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and higher polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are expected in some countries. Research has been conducted on an emulsion of a selected tar oil fraction. Using a waterborne formulation opens new perspectives for targetting penetration and retention, waste water recycling, energy saving and overall emission control to water and air. Results are reported on toxic limits, leaching of PAH compounds, ecotox testing and initial trials of pilot plant treatments. Standard laboratory tests show a biological efficacy comparable to standard creosote specifications AWPA and WEIB. Preliminary leaching tests indicate a lower level of total PAH leaching although the initial emission flux is higher than that of the traditional types of creosote. At a target retention of 35 kg/m³ no inhibition of algal growth was noticed, microtox tests demonstrated the high sensitivity of bacteria for organic compounds found in leachates of timber treated with tar oil preservatives. Preliminary treatments on pilot-scale equipment revealed a strongly reduced smell of impregnated timber and a clean surface with a typical dark brown colour.
G M F Van Eetvelde, R Leegwater, M Stevens


Penetration of oil-borne preservatives in American elm
1975 - IRG/WP 355
Pressure treatment of elm posts and cants by Rueping schedules resulted in erratic penetration. Instead of the expected gradual decrease in retention from surface inward in posts, inner zones frequently contained more preservative than the surface quarter inch. Heartwood was found penetrated when sapwood was not. There were numerous skips in treated zones. The prevalence and possible causes were investigated in an effort to find a remedy. The things investigated were effects of: 1) uneven growth rate in the outer zone of posts, 2) growing site, 3) eccentricity and width of growth rings, 4) intermediate wood 5) moisture content, 6) use of initial air pressure or not in treatment, 7) wetwood, 8) tension wood, 9) grain direction of preservative penetration and 10) anatomy of wood. Of these, only intermediate wood, use of initial air, wetwood and wood anatomy seemed to have an effect. The influence of intermediate wood and wetwood is probably minimal but might have some effect.
E A Behr


Tar-oil uptake vs time in immersion treatment of short pine posts: A simple technique applicable to rural communities of Papua New Guinea
2012 - IRG/WP 12-40608
Pinus caribaea and Araucaria cunninghamii logs ca. 100 mm in diameter were shortened to lengths 25-30 cm, conditioned to at/below fibre saturation point (FSP) for immersion/dip treatment using a hot- and- cold bath open- tank process. Before oven-drying and subsequent treatment, individual test specimens were numbered, their green weights and volumes, and dry weights recorded for basic density, void volume, preservative uptake and retention determination. The poles were bundled and immersed (dipped) in a drum containing light tar-oil creosote. The tar-oil creosote with pine specimens was heated to boiling for 30 minutes and flames were extinguished with water to allow cooling. The cooling conditions, (dip time period for treatment) varied from 1, 5, 15 and 24 hours. Theoretically, a vacuum was created in wood during heating and when cooled, tar-oil was drawn into the wood’s anatomical structures. The experiment results indicated that tar-oil uptake and retention increased with dip time until available void volume was filled and no further uptake occurred. In this case, the preservative uptake and retention were proportional with square-root of dip time. The technique was simple with basic materials required for hot and cold bath treatment. This treatment technique is more appropriate for application at rural community level for treatment of utility posts/poles.
B K Gusamo, R Tulo


40 year results from the largest preservative in-ground stake trial conducted in Australia
2013 - IRG/WP 13-30624
The final results from Australia’s largest preservative in-ground stake trial are listed. There were eight test sites, six in Australia and two in Papua New Guinea. The preservatives tested include low and high temperature creosotes, PCP and various water-borne preservatives including CCA and copper chromate. The main timbers examined were sawn Pinus radiata sapwood, sawn Eucalyptus regnans heartwood, and E. regnans natural rounds (mainly sapwood). The number of treatments (preservative/retention/timber combinations) tested was 208, although not at every site. The 15 to 16 year inspection results are provided in an appendix for Taree (NSW), O’Shannassy (Vic), Keravat (PNG), Brown River (PNG), Millaroo (Qld), Innisfail (Qld), Sydney (Pennant Hills, NSW) and Walpeup (Vic). Mean ratings, and median specimen lives, are also provided for the latter three test sites after 39.3-41.8 years’ exposure.
L J Cookson


Investigating the potential role of creosote oil for the water repellent purposes in fiberboards
2013 - IRG/WP 13-40635
Effect of wood steaming during fiber generation processes and creosote oil on the properties of fiberboard, manufactured from creosote treated solid wood were investigated. Pulp fiber was generated by alkaline pretreatment of waste creosote impregnated wood which being fiberized by laboratory defibrator, atmospherically. These fibers blended with 0, 15, 30, 45 and 100 percent by weight of wood virgin fiber; generated at high steam pressure treatment. All fiber mixtures formed, dried and hot pressed to produce 3mm(d:1g/cm3) nominal thickness hardboard. Acidified creosote oil (free of high molecular weight poly aromatic hydrocarbons) was added to each fiber composition distinctly to evaluate and compare specifications with creosote free board specimens. All specimens were tested physically and mechanically to evaluate the effect of oil presence and wood steam treated fiber ratios on water absorption and thickness swelling after 2&24 hours submersion in distilled water. The results showed that creosote is responsible to decrease water uptake and thickness swelling of wood-based composite materials effectively and steam treatment in comparison to sodium hydroxide as precursor of fiber disintegration, is more efficient to improve both physical and mechanical properties of the fibrous sample boards.
M Sheikholeslami


Recycling of used railroad ties via two-staged pyrolysis for fractionation of wood preservatives and bio-oil: pyrolytic characterization by TGA and Py-GC/MS
2015 - IRG/WP 15-50311
Creosote and copper naphthenate (CuNap) (in an oil carrier) treated railroad tie materials (crossties or sleepers) were initially heat-treated at 200 – 300 oC and subsequently pyrolyzed via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) to recover wood preservatives and produce a higher quality bio-oil. Preservative-desorptive temperatures at 200 and 250 oC by TGA removed water and creosote (6.6 – 9.3 wt%) from the creosote-treated crosstie materials, and water and CuNap components (21.2 – 23.3 wt%) from the CuNap-treated crossties. Temperature at 300 oC removed a shoulder DTG peak at 305 - 325 oC and weight loss accounted for 25.5 wt% in the creosote-treated tie and 30.6 wt% in the CuNap-treated tie. Temperature at 200 – 300 oC by Py-GC/MS desorbed creosote-derived chemicals such as naphthalene, acenaphthene, fluorine, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) derived from the creosote-treated tie; and mineral oil (alkane hydrocarbons such as tetradecane, nonadecane, hexadecane and octadecane, and heptacosane) from the CuNap-treated ties. Pyrolysis of the wood tie with elevated temperature produced a high amount of carbohydrate- and lignin-derived compounds from wood ties. Fast pyrolysis of the 200 oC-treated crossties by Py-GC/MS produced a high fraction of creosote- and CuNap compounds most of which were then not subsequently recovered through fast pyrolysis of the 250 and 300 oC-treated samples. Fast pyrolysis of the thermally preservatives-removed tie samples produced high anhydrosugars such as levoglucosan and low acetic acid, furfural and ketones as well as high pyrolytic lignin-derived compounds, which shows good potential for phenolic-based chemical production. The results demonstrate that a thermal preservative-removal step (similar to a torrefaction step) can successfully remove valuable creosote and CuNap components for re-use as preservatives and subsequently supply a clean wood without significant levels of contaminant hazardous air pollutants for use as boiler fuel, more efficient pyrolysis to produce higher quality bio-oil, gasification or other uses.
Pyoungchung Kim, J Lloyd, Jae-Woo Kim, N Labbe


Termiticidal Effect of Bitumen and Creosote oil Treatments on Selected Nigerian Wood Species
2016 - IRG/WP 16-30689
Termites attack has been a major threat to wood materials in construction. The study investigated the termiticidal effect of bitumen and creosote oil mixture on the resistance of some commonly used indigenous wood species namely: Celtis zenkeri, Terminalia ivorensis, Albizia lebbeck, Cola gigantea and Terminalia superba to termites in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. The wood species were obtained from a sawmill in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria. The wood samples were separated into five samples each for sap and heartwood using 35 × 35 × 450 mm dimension. Thereafter, they were treated with mixture of bitumen and creosote using hot treatment method. The preservative absorption by the wood samples was determined, coupled with the weight loss of the wood after exposure to termites’ attack in the graveyard for 12 months. Macrotermes sybhylinus was identified as dominating termite species in Akure environ. Weekly visual observations of the stakes were carried out as specified in ASTM D3345-80 Standards for 12 months. The wood samples were withdrawn after 12 months of exposure to termites and weight loss due to attack was estimated. The field test results showed that treatment with bitumen and creosote oil mixture greatly increased the resistance of the five wood species to termites attack. It was also observed that heartwood portion of wood species were resistant to termites attack. The Analysis of variance indicated that there was significant difference between the resistance of treated and untreated samples at 5 % level of significance. From the results obtained, it was evident that bitumen and creosote oil mixture in 70:30 proportions proved very effective as a preservative for protecting wood against termites attack.
Termiticidal Effect of Bitumen and Creosote oil Treatments on Selected Nigerian Wood Species


Life cycle assessment of creosote treated wood and tall oil treated wood with focus on end-of-life
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50320
The use of creosote for protecting wood products in heavy-duty application outdoors has been common for many years, but stricter regulations have limited creosote’s use. Life cycle assessments (LCA) have shown that in some applications alternatives to creosote treated products do not have less environmental impacts. Searching for alternatives to creosote, tall-oil-based preservatives have been of interest; in this regard, a LCA study has therefore been performed to compare the creosote and tall oil treated products according to their impacts on global warming potential (GWP). There are several approaches to include the removal and release of biogenic carbon in LCA. Under current end-of-life scenarios for treated wood, the different approaches give the same total impact on GWP when the whole life cycle is included. However, if carbon capture and storage is implemented at end-of-life of treated wood, the different approaches have large differences in the results. Tall oil treated wood has been shown in this study to have a relatively large contribution to GWP compared to creosote treated wood from a cradle-to-gate perspective. When the whole life cycle is included, the tall oil has a relatively lower contribution to GWP. This is because tall oil is from a renewable resource and that the combustion at end-of-life thus has a significantly lower impact than fossil-based creosote.
L G F Tellnes, U Hundhausen


The biodegradation of creosote oil by various species of white rot fungi and bacteria isolated from the contaminated soil
2018 - IRG/WP 18-50334
The aim of the study was to determine biodegradation effectiveness of the selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in creosote oil, by two white rot fungal species (Bjerkandera adusta and Irpex lacteus) and three bacterial species (Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas sp. OS4 and Rahnella aquatilis). Bacteria were isolated from the soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons from the northern area of Poland. Tests with the fungi (16 weeks) were performed with the use of creosote-impregnated wood samples, while tests with bacteria (5 weeks) were done in liquid mineral medium containing creosote oil as sole source of carbon. The analysis of PAHs loss was conducted using the method of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipped in a fluorescent detector (FLD). The obtained results indicated that, the total PAH degradation in the impregnated wood by fungal species was high and reached ca. 64 and 96% for Irpex lacteus and Bjerkandera adusta, respectively. The biodegradation extent of PAHs by bacterial species was lower and reached ca. 10, 12 and 16% for Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas sp. OS4 and Rahnella aquatilis, respectively. On the other hand, the addition of natural surfactant – saponins – had positive influence on the biodegradation extent of PAHs by bacterial species (loss of sum of PAHs reached ca. 25, 34 and 57% for Rahnella aquatilis, Pseudomonas sp. OS4 and Pseudomonas putida, respectively. This may suggest that natural surfactants can enhance the bioavailability of the hydrophobic organic pollutants (such as PAHs) and improve the biodegradation efficiency of creosote oil in the environment. In general, the obtained results showed that the studied microbial species have potential to be used in cleaning-up of creosote-impregnated wooden elements and bioremediation of soils/aquatic environments polluted with creosote oil.
M Sydow, J Zabielska-Matejuk, E Kaczorek, AStangierska, A Kropacz


COPPER NAPHTHENATE: A Product for All Seasons: Protecting the Americas’ Infrastructure for Over 100 Years and Potential for Expanded Usage in Europe
2019 - IRG/WP 19-30738
This paper is a brief review of the history and use of the wood preservative Copper Naphthenate, with a focus on use patterns within the USA and opportunities for expansion in Europe and Canada. This paper reviews how copper naphthenate has performed to preserve and protect cellulosic and wooden items essential to critical infrastructure, and why it is the ideal choice for use in the replacement of pentachlorophenol and creosote.
M H Freeman, J A Brient, M Manning


Bioremediation technology for cleaning-up of the soil contaminated with creosote oil – the overall concept of BIOREM project
2020 - IRG/WP 20-50363
The aim of the communication paper is to present the conceptual framework of the BIOREM project, which started in May 2019. The final result of the entire project will be an innovative bioremediation technology that can be used in areas contaminated with creosote oil – a commonly used wood preservative being a complex mixture of various compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The creosote oil and its components are very effective towards white-rot fungi decomposing wood, but on the other hand, are extremally toxic to plants, animals and human. Therefore, it is important to provide an effective and cheap technology of cleaning-up of the soil environment from the creosote oil. The bioremediation technology, which will be designed during the course of the project, will be based on innovative combination of bacterial and fungal biopreparations with the addition of enzyme preparations. The technology will be first implemented at the polluted area of railway sleeper treating plant located in Koźmin Wielkopolski (Poland) and then made available on the market for other companies dealing with the pollution of grounds with creosote oil.
M Sydow, J Zabielska-Matejuk, A Stangierska


Field trial with poles of Scots pine treated with six different creosotes
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30115
In the middle of the 50's field trials with creosote-treated poles were started in France, Germany and Sweden. The trials were initiated by WEI (Western-European Institute for Wood Preservation). Six different creosotes were used and 40 poles per creosote were installed at each test field. Results after 39 years of exposure in Simlangsdalen, Sweden are reported. Poles treated with a heavy creosote were less decayed than poles treated with medium-heavy creosotes. Poles treated with a light creosote were most decayed.
Ö Bergman


Biological screening assays of wood samples treated with creosote plus chemical additives exposed to Limnoria tripunctata
1980 - IRG/WP 408
Laboratory methods for exposure of treated wood coupons to Limnoria tripunctata are described. Chemical additions to creosote were screened using this method. Three pesticides, Endrin, Kepone, and Malathion proved particularly effective. The addition of varying percentages of naphthalene to creosote using several treatment methods are currently being assayed. Results to date show that the coupons treated by the empty cell method have better performance than those prepared by the toluene dilution method. The naphthalene coupons treated by the full cell method show no attack after six months' exposure.
B R Richards, D A Webb


Field test evaluation of preservatives and treatment methods for fence posts
1985 - IRG/WP 3347
This work presents the field test results after fifteen years exposure of Eucalyptus saligna fence posts treated with six different preservatives and five treatment methods. All the combinations with oil-borne preservatives presented the best results and among the waterborne preservatives, the fence posts treated by immersion method were with the lowest performance in the field test.
G A C Lopez, E S Lepage


Performance of treated fence posts after 6 years in five test plots in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil
1976 - IRG/WP 376
Fence posts treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol and creosote/ pentachlorophenol mixtures showed good performance after 6 years of exposure in five test plots located in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil. Good results were also achieved with copper sulphate/sodium arsenate and copper sulphate/potassium dichromate mixtures. Fungi and termites were the main destroying agents found attacking the posts.
M S Cavalcante


Pinus and Eucalyptus fenceposts treated with creosote and solvex tar by hot and cold open-tank process
1987 - IRG/WP 3455
A comparative study of the behaviour of two different wood preservatives, creosote and solvex-tar, was made, using two wood species, Pinus pinaster Ait and Eucalyptus globulus Labill, by the hot and cold open-tank process. Results showed that the creosote behaved better in relation with the uniformity of its distribution in wood. On the other hand, better results were obtained on Pinus for both preservatives.
M V Baonza Merino


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