Treated wood waste in Finland, 2012

The research revealing of the amount of regular wood and hazardous wood treated in Finland in this year. The most common techniques are applied to wood treatment in this country. Hazardous waste processing. Prevention of producing waste. Energy recovery.

Рубрика Производство и технологии
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 16.11.2014
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Treated wood waste in Finland, 2012

Elena Mitina, EE student

The Earth contains about one trillion tones of wood, which grows at a rate of 10 billion tones per year. The existence of wood economy, or more correctly, a forest economy, is a prominent matter in many developing countries as well as in many other nations with temperate climate and especially in those with low temperatures. These are generally the countries with greater forested areas. Finnish forest industry groups are among the worlds biggest in the world and a major contributor to wellbeing in Finland. The sector accounts for approximately 20 per cent of Finland's export revenue and it is a major employer, especially in regional areas. The uses of wood in furniture, buildings, bridges, and as a renewable source of energy are widely known. Additionally, wood from trees and bushes, can be employed in a wide variety, including those produced from wood pulp, as cellulose in paper, cellophane, and rayon (a substitute for silk). However, there are a lot of pressure on the environment due to the forest industry. That is why effective and proper wood waste handling technics are required. For that purpose was conducted a research revealing the amount of regular wood and hazardous wood treated in Finland in 2012.

Four most common technics applied to wood treatment in Finland are recycling, energy recovery, landfill disposal and incineration.

First and most preferred is recycling. It is the process for converting used woody materials into new products for the prevention of producing waste. This leads to the lessened consumption of fresh material for the production of new material, reduction of use of energy, reduction of air pollution and water pollution. The most common use of recycled wood is for particle board and similar materials.

Another technique is energy recovery, which enables recycling unsuitable wood waste to generate electrical energy or heat. Untreated wood can be used as a fuel in virtually any biomass heating plant, but wood that has been treated (painted, coated, impregnated or otherwise contaminated) can be fired only in plants with the right combustion processes and exhaust scrubbers.

Probably the most harmful one is incineration. It involves the oxidation of the combustible materials contained in the wood. It allows converting wood residues into energy that can be utilized for heating industrial or commercial premises, or for other heating purposes. The objective of wood waste incineration is to reduce its volume and hazard, whilst capturing (and thus concentrating) or destroying potentially harmful substances.

And finally yet importantly, treatment method is landfill disposal. Landfill is the disposal of waste into or onto land. In that case, waste refuse is buried between layers of dirt so as to fill in or reclaim low-lying ground.

Out of all treated materials, Wood waste takes the second place after Minerals waste ranked at first and account over 10 percent of total waste.

In the Table 1, presented the analyzing data of the amount of wood waste (in 1000 tones) including hazardous waste type, collected from finish industrial plants and factories in 2012. The information gathered from the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) database.

Table 1. Treatment methods of wood waste in Finland, 2012

Treatment methods

Waste type

Total treatment


Energy recovery


Landfill disposal

Wood waste






-of which hazardous waste






According to the table, from all technics, most amount of waste was treated for energy recovery use (8426 tones per year). That fact may be justified given that wood possess high burn efficiency and treat it just in incineration plant may not be as useful as with energy recovery that could further be use for heating. It is also clear from the table that less wood waste amount was landfilled. It may follow from potential energy loss as well and replacement by other more helpful treatment techniques. wood waste treatment finland

As known, waste wood that has been treated with chemical preservatives such as creosote, chlorophenolics, chromium or arsenic make their wastes hazardous to human health and the environment. And noticeable that hazardous waste of total wood waste number makes only 10 tones. This fact may be explained by Refuse Act statement according to which waste should be prevented and most treated wood waste in Finland had already been cleared from harmful components.

In the Figure 1 shown treatment methods of regular wood waste (in percentage).

Figure 1. Wood waste treatment

According to the diagram, energy recovery takes 75 percent of total treated waste, recycling goes far behind gaining only 25 and incineration and landfilled are hardly reach 1 percent total.

Figure 2. Hazardous waste treatment

In the Figure 2 shown Hazardous waste treated in Finland in 2012.

It is clear from the Figure 2 that energy recovery is the most common and sufficient method of hazardous waste treatment than for example landfill.


1. Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate with Emphasis on Forest Health: a Review of Science, Policies, and Practices. Umeе, Sweden. August 25-28, 2008;

2. "Bioenergy Knowledge Centre's Calculators". (includes a range of calculators, including one for calculating the energy content of wood, taking into account the moisture content);

3. Ray, James, "Wood Usage in Rural Tanzania: An Investigation into the Sources and Accessibility of Fuelwood and Polewood for the Residents of Kizanda Village, West Usambara Mountains" (2011). ISP Collection. Paper 984;

4. Diamond, Jared. 2005 Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. PenguiBooks. New York. 294-304 pp. ISBN 0-14-303655-6.

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