blank
Connect with us

Environment

Innovative project finds greener way to dispose of creosote from wooden power poles

Published

on

Regional electricity distribution company Western Power Distribution (WPD) say they’ve a ‘world first’ innovation aimed at developing a new, greener method for disposing of redundant wooden poles.

This new process allows creosote to be extracted from the wood so that it can be repurposed, rather than being incinerated.

Advertisement

WPD say the Active Creosote Extraction project– known as ACE – is part of its commitment to a sustainable, low carbon future.

The power distribution company, which covers The South West, Midlands and Wales, replace about 27,000 wooden poles each year, as they reach the end of their useful life. Creosote-impregnated wooden poles last for about 30 years.

At present, poles are either incinerated or left to landowners to dispose of. However, the ACE project aims to replace the high temperature incineration process with a more environmentally friendly solution, using an innovative, carbon friendly, extraction technique. This removes the creosote to levels which allows the poles to be treated as non-hazardous waste, enabling the wood to be safely repurposed.

WPD Graduate Innovation Engineer Jacob Lynch said: “This is a world first in testing extraction methods for the removal of creosote from redundant wooden poles.

“The project will aim to commercialise the method, if successful, and apply this to other network operators and possibly telecom networks. This is just one of numerous projects WPD is working on to help meet its 2028 net zero target.”

Advertisement

The £1.46 million project is being run in partnership with GPT Environmental and is funded by the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

WPD has pledged to be a net zero organisation by 2028 – that’s 22 years ahead of the UK government’s own net zero target – as part of its commitment to a sustainable future. This commitment includes facilitating the mass connection of low carbon technologies, like electric vehicles and heat pumps, supporting community energy, and tackling its own business carbon footprint.

Creosote is used as a wood preservative to deter fungi and insects. Studies show that incinerating 840 tonnes of wooden poles each year is the equivalent of driving a typical van to the moon and back 11 times.

(Lead image: WPD)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Swansea Bay News