Sustainability of new creosote alternative confirmed

Sustainability of new creosote alternative confirmed
Credit: BTG Biomass Technology Group

A recently published study has confirmed the sustainability credentials of a new biobased alternative to creosote that is being developed in the Bio4Products project. The use of wood modification based on pyrolysis oil was shown to contribute 82% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil-based creosotes. Due to lower toxicity it is also 7.4 times less damaging to human health.

A study has confirmed the sustainability credentials of a new biobased alternative to creosote.

The peer-reviewed scientific publication showed the use of modification based on pyrolysis oil contributes 82% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil-based creosotes. Due to lower toxicity it is also 7.4 times less damaging to .

Lead author Jurjen Spekreijse, "Our study shows that pyrolysis-based wood modification is a good alternative for fossil-based creosotes. This is further evidence that in addition to , pyrolysis oil can be applied as biobased chemicals and materials, developing a sustainable platform based on pyrolysis oil."

Bio-based wood modification treatment

More sustainable wood modification treatments are being sought with some urgency to replace the highly toxic , which is still predominant for certain heavy duty applications such as railway sleepers and fencing.

The bio-based alternative is based on a cooperation between TransFurans Chemicals and Dutch timber company Foreco, who will market the product.

The raw material is provided by BTG Biomass Technology Group, who are developing a technology to divide pyrolysis oil into multiple fractions for use in material applications, including resins and wood modification.

Sustainability of pyrolysis oil applications

The authors performed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to better understand the sustainability of the new solution. The LCA contained an analysis of 17 different environmental impacts clustered around three end points: damage to human health, damage to ecosystems and damage to resources.

They found that the sustainability of this and other pyrolysis-based applications will depend to a large extent on the type of biomass feedstock used. For example, there was a significantly larger impact on human health and resource scarcity when maize digestate was used over forestry residues.

The impact of the pyrolysis-based treatment compared to creosotes was calculated based on the production, use and end of life of one cubic meter of treated wooden poles for one year.


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Study identifies most promising feedstocks for pyrolysis-based biorefinery

More information: undefined Spekreijse et al. Life Cycle Assessment on a Biorefinery Approach to Pyrolysis Oil for Wood Modification Treatment, Applied Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.3390/app9204233
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Citation: Sustainability of new creosote alternative confirmed (2019, November 1) retrieved 19 November 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-11-sustainability-creosote-alternative.html
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