Characterization, toxicity and treatment of wood leachate generated outdoors by the wood-based industry

Detta är en avhandling från Växjö : Linnaeus University Press

Sammanfattning: Wood is a natural raw material, and would hardly be considered a risk to the environment. However, the handling of wood materials on an industrial scale has been shown to have a negative impact on water bodies that run-off from industrial sites that process wood-based materials. Most investigations related to water pollution from wood-based industries have focused on large industrial sites such as pulp and paper mills. The goal of the present thesisis to understand better such environmental problems and treatment solutions that occur at most wood handling sites. Where there are large outdoor storage areas for logs and sawdust that are exposed to rainfall or irrigation, such as the wooden-floor and bio-energy sectors. Leachate generated by the contact of water with wood in storage areas contains a large amount of organic matter that is potentially hazardous to water bodies that receive run-off from the site.It has been found that different wood species yield different leachate compositions, with leachate from oak having the highest pollutants content, followed by leachate from pine. This investigation shows that oak has the potential to leach about 10 times the amount of polyphenols compared with other investigated species (i.e., pine, beech and maple). Furthermore, oak leachates have the lowest ratio of biological oxygen demand at 7 days tochemical oxygen demand (0.12), which suggests a potential problem with the biological degradation of this leachate. It has also been shown that leachate from wood are potentially toxic to aquatic organisms.Treatability studies with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of wood leachate were conducted on a pilot scale as part of the scope of this thesis. The results showed, among other options, the possibility of using constructed wetlands to treat leachate. It was found that plants and aeration can affect the performance of a wetland. However, the most important factor is the time water spends in the wetland. Filter material that could be used to absorb leachate was also studied. A filter consisting of a mixture of peat and ash (from incinerated organic matter), was used to absorb a specific chemical group (polyphenols) in the leachate. It was also shown that polyphenols are vulnerable to ozone, representing a third viable treatment process.