Thermal decontamination of railway sleepers for recycling. Removal of creosote oil

Mayer, Ingo; Ganne-Chédeville, Christelle; von Arx, Urs; Pichelin, Frédéric (2010). Thermal decontamination of railway sleepers for recycling. Removal of creosote oil In: World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE 2010).

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Because of the high content of PAHs (polyphenolic aromatic hydrocarbons) in wooden railway sleepers, legislative regulations require the thermal combustion of the sleepers after removal from the track bed or permit an altemate usage only in a limited frame. Decontamination experiments were performed by means of temperature and reduced pressure in technical scale, aiming on the removal of the PAHs from used railway sleepers in order to provide alternative ways for recycling of the wood tissue. Both railway sleepers as well as uniform laboratory samples were treated, and subsequently investigated by liquid extraction and liquid injection gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The decontamination treatment at a temperature of 220°C removes up to 75% of PAHs, main active substances of the creosote oils. For complete PAHs removal, process parameters need to be further improved.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering > Institute for Materials and Wood Technology
BFH Centres and strategic thematic fields > BFH Centre for Wood - Resource and Material


Mayer, Ingo;
Ganne-Chédeville, Christelle0000-0003-1000-6759;
von Arx, Urs and
Pichelin, Frédéric0000-0003-3856-6707


Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
T Technology > TP Chemical technology




Christelle Ganne-Chédeville

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 15:59

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2022 14:04

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Creosote PAH Railway sleepers Recycling Wood decontamination




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