Tools for wood reprocessors to identify contaminated wood

This project provides wood reprocessors with the tools needed to enable them to easily identify contaminated wood. The tools being trialled include a ring bound visual inspection guide to allow site workers to identify potential contaminated pieces of wood and a chemical colour-change toolkit.

Key aims:

  • To produce distribute and trial rapid identification colour indicator kits and visual inspection guides to enable handlers and operatives to better identify and segregate waste wood treated with copper-based preservatives
  • To ascertain whether there is a potential market for the rapid identification colour indicator kits and visual inspection guides
  • To investigate the economic feasibility of options for producing the colour indicator tool kits for relevant end-user markets

Background

To date there has been no means to identify chemical treatments in wood waste that may often be invisible to the eye. As a result, the identification and segregation of chemically contaminated materials is not always optimal, thus presenting potential H&S issues, adding costs to the recycling process and potentially undermining recycled product quality.

End users, notably the panel board manufacturing industry, increasingly require verification that chemical contamination is removed. In response, WRAP has undertaken research (WOO0034 – Development of colour indicator techniques to detect chemical contamination in wood waste for recycling) to identify and develop technologies to enable the identification of cooper-based preservative treated wood waste by operatives at sites where waste is segregated and reprocessed. This has culminated in the successful production of chemical indicator solution formulas along with various application methods for the indicators. 

This work builds on the earlier research by trialling the identification kits with the reprocessors’ site operatives. The trials aim to establish the best means of delivery as well as options for improving the kit before it is released for full production.

Documents

WOO0034 Development of colour indicator techniques to detect chemical contamination in wood waste for recycling Final Report (1902 kb) 

WOO0034 The PAN Colour Indicator technique to detect copper contamination in wood waste for recycling - a guide for use (470 kb) 

WOO0034 The Chromazurol S Colour Indicator technique to detect copper contamination in wood waste for recycling - a guide for use (309 kb)