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Environmental Impact of Wood Preservatives PCP/CCA/Cresol

I have an environmental chemistry course in which we are currently studying the environmental and health impacts of wood preservatives such as cresol, pentachlorophenol, and chromated copper arsenate.

Question 1:

For the 3 wood preservatives noted, would acidic vs. alkaline soil or water conditions cause more (or less) leaching or dissolution of these compounds. How do these compounds actually leach out of wood into the environment?

Question 2:

For the 2 organic preservatives, cresol and pentachlorophenol, and assuming that they are present in the wood, what happens when the wood is combusted? What are the combustion by-products of cresol and pentachlorophenol? Are they actually oxidized and destroyed?

Question 3:

Similar to Question 2, if cresol and pentachlorophenol are actually emitted to the ambient air as vapor, what role does photolysis play in the decomp of these organics? Do these complex phenol compounds favor oxidation or reduction reactions? What are the decomposition products when photolysis or oxidation occurs?

Question 4:

With respect to chromated copper arsenate, the arsenate has the formula AsO4(-3). Is there a way to render the arsenate ion less harmful? Can oxidation or reduction occur to change the nature of the arsenate ion?

Question 5:

What is meant by glycolysis?

Solution Summary

The solution outlines the answers to questions referring to environmental fate and disposal of chemicals commonly used to treat wood (pentachlorophenol, copper chromium arsenate and cresol).