Incorporation of waste streams of treated wood in pulping processes

Campaign: What wood you do

Submitted by: Johannes van Overmeeren

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Ever wondered where waste wood goes after it\'s left in recycling/ trash? The wood surplus from building/ construction sites, individuals and resellers is all incinerated and only some energy is recovered from it. So, perfectly good wood pieces are wasted and the material potential lost. These waste streams could be utilized to better use when the wood could be reused or reprocessed to other applications. Even though paper and cardboard are recycled, it does not cover the whole demand and the society needs wood products every day. This means trees are cut down every day to maintain the need. Processing trees consumes lots of energy and time but if already processed wood instead would be used the energy and time would be saved. This would also lessen the stress caused to the forest and environment, because the lifespan of wood material is extended by postponing incineration. A lot of wood for outdoor use is or has been treated chemically with heavy metals to prevent rot and enhance durability. Thankfully, a lot of safer techniques of wood preservation are commercially available now, but current waste streams of treated wood are still separated because of their relatively high contents of mainly copper, chrome, and arsenic (CCA). Because of this, treated wood is separated and burned by specialised and certified waste incinerators for energy recovery in most developed countries, including Sweden, however a lot ends up in landfill as well. We propose a case where we would like to incorporate this waste stream in existing or specialised pulping lines, with adaptation of the cooking process to remove the residues of these toxic metals.

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