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Formation of dioxins and furans during combustion of treated wood

Tame, N.W., Dlugogorski, B.Z. and Kennedy, E.M. (2007) Formation of dioxins and furans during combustion of treated wood. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 33 (4). pp. 384-408.

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Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F, dioxin) are produced in combustion of wood treated with copper-based preservatives. This review summarises and analyses the pertinent literature on the role of preservatives in the formation of dioxin in the low-temperature, vitiated environment that exists in the domestic combustion of wood, and in large-scale fires. Until recently, the role of preservatives was not thoroughly examined in the literature with respect to fires, as incineration attracted most of the research focus. However, latest studies have demonstrated that some current and emerging wood preservatives significantly increase dioxin formation during combustion in domestic stoves and in fires. The following pathways are identified: (i) copper, a common biocide that is chemically bound to the wood, is an important dioxin catalyst, (ii) preservative metals promote smouldering of wood char following cessation of flaming, providing the required temperature environment for dioxin formation, and (iii) chlorinated organics added as secondary preservative components yield dioxin precursors upon thermal decomposition. These conclusions indicate that it remains hazardous to dispose of preservative impregnated timber via domestic combustion even if arsenic is not present.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier Ltd.
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