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Treated Wood Waste



    All,
    
    I am coping this message response to the list since the original 
    message was sent to me prior to showing up on the list.  
    Potentially, the response may be helpful to others interested in 
    the topic.
    
    (In a follow-up message the use of P2/Finance software, and 
    pathway for obtaining the software, was recommended for performing 
    referenced financial analysis.)  

-- BEGIN included message

    Ashwin,
    
    Initially, your e-mail took me a little by suprise as I believed 
    you were speaking about the Koppers facility in our area.  I 
    contacted the Plant Manager, Paul Beswick, in an effort to better 
    understand the situation.  He explained that Koppers operates a 
    facility in your area also, hence your inquiry.
    
    I will do my best to answer your questions but you should 
    be aware of two items:
    
    1) The Koppers facility in our area performs creosote treatment 
    and not CCA treatment, as with your facility.  Mr. Beswick did 
    give me some insights into the differences.
    
    2) There will be regulatory differences between Pa and Fl for 
    which I cannot account.  Any of the suggested re-use options I 
    discuss should be approved by Florida's environmental agency prior 
    to suggesting them to the facility.  Federal regulations also may 
    come into play and again, I am unable to account for Florida's 
    interpretation of federal law.
    
    
    You're right about the hazards of CCA.  But, I would think 5 foot 
    treated logs could still be useful as a product for residential or 
    business landscaping or perhaps other purposes (I thought some 
    companies that produce childrens swing sets use CCA-treated 
    lumber).
    If the logs are too large, additional processing to re-size the 
    logs at the original facility (halving, quartering, or other 
    sizes) to create a unique product should not be a big regulatory 
    issue if incorporated into the original manufacturing process.  
    
    Finding a supplier who will deliver logs pre-cut to desired 
    lengths would be a big help.  Treating logs pre-cut to appropriate 
    lengths would save money relative to using less treatment 
    chemicals.  This may also allow greater throughput in the 
    cylinders...pending dimensions, saved space, etc.  To some degree 
    paying extra for logs cut to near-exact lengths should save the 
    company money.  Only a financial analysis would determine exact 
    boundries in this respect.  If they kiln-dry their own logs, 
    pre-cutting should also take a load off the kiln.
    
    Untreated/uncontaminated five foot logs, either prior to or after 
    kiln drying, should have multiple uses.  Also, I would hope 
    Florida does not strictly regulate uncontaminated virgin wood 
    waste going for legitmate re-use.  Logs of that size should be 
    usable by lumber mills, hobbiests, or anyone capable of 
    working/cutting larger pieces of wood.  Worst case, as boiler 
    fuel, fire wood, for mulching, (if hard wood) composting with 
    sewage, pallet manufacturing, and more.
    
    The cylinder doors at our Koppers facility are hydraulically 
    controlled and do not use all the bolts.  Mr. Beswick reports an 
    upgrade to hydraulics could cost in the $40,000.00 range per door.  
    Financial analysis would again determine payback times and the 
    value of such an investment.
    
    Mr. Beswick also reports that creosote treatment is a much surer 
    process than CCA treatment.  Creosote penetrates much better and 
    very little re-work is ever needed.  Still, I agree with you that 
    a better method for determining the effectiveness of treatment 
    could be very useful especially if re-working is a problem.
    
    I personally am not aware of how this could be performed.  
    Perhaps, if there is some way to monitor the amount of free 
    chemical in the cylinder one could estimate the degree of 
    absorption given the weight or surface area of the load.  Being 
    they operate the cylinder under pressure, pressure changes may 
    also serve as some indicator.  An experienced operator may be the 
    person to ask at the plant...otherwise an engineer.  Are they 
    following proper operating practices??  Sometimes to meet 
    production shortcuts are taken...trying to pull batches on minimal 
    treatment time could be causing the problem...standard operating 
    proceedures can be very important.
    Generally, if leaving a load in process for an extra hour or so 
    resulted in successful treatment 95 percent of the time (or 
    whatever success rate they needed) I would guess the lost time 
    would be less of a loss than retreating a whole batch, may reduce 
    the number of times the cylinder door need to be opened & closed, 
    and should allow spot testing critical points in a batch rather 
    than every log in a batch.  (Paul also tells me that individual 
    logs vary in terms of density and response to treatment.)
    
    Another test method may be to find some indicator material that 
    when burried in a load would indicate successful treatment.  The 
    indicator material would have to be something that accepts the CCA 
    at a slower rate than the wood, could be easily monitored, and 
    that could be placed at the most difficult area to treat in a 
    batch.  Sounds nearly impossible doesn't it?  Do the cylinders 
    have any "windows" or could one be installed for visual checks?  
    If so,one might still find a material to place in the cylinder 
    that could be checked visually?
    
    Hope this helps,
    
    Please let me know how you make out.
    
    Ric        

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