Hydrothermal Treatment of Creosote-Impregnated Wood


  • W. James Catallo
  • Todd F. Shupe


Creosote, hazardous and solid wastes, PAHs, supercritical water, transformation/recovery/recycling, utility poles, wood


This paper describes the treatment of creosote-treated wood in anoxic supercritical water (SC). Decommissioned (ca. 15 yr) creosote-treated pine utility pole wood, which had been chipped was hydro-treated directly. During treatment, the creosote-derived hydrocarbon residues in the wood were nearly completely (>99%) recovered, and the wood itself was transformed into a mixture of hydrocarbons including substituted benzenes, phenolics, and light PAHs. These wood-derived transformation products served to reconstitute the "light end" of the creosote, which had been largely lost while in service. Thus, the hazardous waste (creosote hydrocarbon mixture) was recovered, and the solid waste (wood) was transformed into a complementary product mixture in a single pass. Solid residues after 12-20 h of treatment were <2% w/w.


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