Environmental Research, Wood Treatment Industry


Terra Firma Wales Ltd (TFW) has been engaged in research on behalf of the wood treatment industry. The research has centred on assessing the environmental risks posed by creosote and other coal tar derivatives.

It was observed on a number of wood treatment and Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) sites that the Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (DNAPL) contamination was significantly more mobile that standard chemical and geotechnical testing would suggest.

The research has centred on characterising the complex hydrocarbon tars and identifying the mechanisms by which they transport through environmental media.

The research has been carried out by TFW staff at the laboratories of Cardiff University.

The experience gained through this research allows TFW to perform specialist testing tailored to address specific issues related to contaminated sites and provides TFW with a level of flexibility not available at the heavily automated commercial soil testing laboratories.

Capabilities include characterisation of complex tars by solvent preparation and tailored GC/MS analysis, soil preparation by ASE, organic and inorganic carbon determination by combustion, elemental analysis of soils and contaminants by Atomic Absorption Spectra and mineral characterisation by X-Ray Diffraction.

TFW is also able to determine site specific soil/water partition coefficients for contaminants to provide accurate parameters for groundwater risk assessment.

TFW would be happy to review existing contamination problems to determine cost-effective solutions to allow development to proceed.