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Old 09-29-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


I was under the impression that these were not supposed to be burned
Due to chemical treatments in the wood
But they just had a show on TV where they grind the stuff up & burn it
Its burned to produce electricity
So homeowners can't....but a business can ?

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Old 09-29-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


I always thought the reason homeowners shouldn't burn telephone poles and railroad ties was due to the creosote. Residential chimneys have enough problems with creosote buildup.

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Old 09-29-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


i know creoste burns REALLY hot, so maybe it has something to do with residential fireplaces not burning hot enough, or being able to handle the extreme heat. The fumes have to be hazardous as well, maybe these commercial furnaces they burn them in have scrubbers to clean the exhaust, or burn hot enough to burn off the chemicals.

i wouldn't burn them in my fireplace, that much i know
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


The rules have got to be different also. Some concrete plants make energy by burning chopped up used tires. Try getting away with that in your backyard...
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:10 PM   #5
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


I've burned PT before which is not exactly the same but same idea - not suppose to burn. I find it gives a better taste to marshmallows when roasting them over the camp fire. :D
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:11 PM   #6
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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The rules have got to be different also. Some concrete plants make energy by burning chopped up used tires. Try getting away with that in your backyard...
Where do they do that at?
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


Fireplace creosote is not the same as the extremely poisonous wood preservative used to preserve such wood products as railroad cross ties and telephone/electric poles.

Fireplace creosote buildup is caused by plant oils (phenols) in the fireplace wood that are burned (combusted) at too low a temperature. As the wood smoke cools and rises up the chimney/flue, the volatile phenol compounds condense out of the smoke and adhere to the inside surface of the chimney. This continuous buildup of unburned smoke compounds is called fireplace creosote.

The toxic, carcinogenic wood preservative, creosote, is manufactured from coal tar.

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I've burned PT before which is not exactly the same but same idea - not suppose to burn. I find it gives a better taste to marshmallows when roasting them over the camp fire. :D
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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Where do they do that at?
I don't know but they showed the whole process on "Dirty Jobs". Mike had the pleasure of finding the tires which had been illegally dumped out in the woods, loading them in the truck, hauling them to the facility, clean them, load them into the chopper and then ship them off to the concrete plant
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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I don't know but they showed the whole process on "Dirty Jobs". Mike had the pleasure of finding the tires which had been illegally dumped out in the woods, loading them in the truck, hauling them to the facility, clean them, load them into the chopper and then ship them off to the concrete plant
I've heard of that before. I think they run the emissions through a scrubber.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


Any commercial power plant is subject to EPA emissions standards. That means they either have a scrubber, or inject special chemicals, into the mix to minimize emissions. Depending on the age and type of railroad tie, they may be treated with anything from phenol to creosote to arsenic compounds. Similarly, pressure treated wood may have metals like arsenic, copper and chromium in it, phenols, alkalis etc. Since there is no scrubber in your fireplace, by burning treated wood you are putting toxic chemicals straight into the air. Burning them hot does not cure the problem, it simply oxidizes the metal, which goes up into the air entrained on particles.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:52 PM   #11
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


Red squirrel -

I would not go heavy on the marshmallows. I know of a family of 6 that all have severe permanent brain damage from being in a house that burned treated wood scraps for fuel. It seemed to burn well and there was no odor, but the damage was cumulative.

If everything is perfect, it may be acceptable, but few residential applications are not perfect and there is no monitoring and sampling, pre-treatment or maintenance programs.

Dick

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:11 AM   #12
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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Red squirrel -

I would not go heavy on the marshmallows. I know of a family of 6 that all have severe permanent brain damage from being in a house that burned treated wood scraps for fuel. It seemed to burn well and there was no odor, but the damage was cumulative.

Dick
That's horrible.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:35 PM   #13
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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I've heard of that before. I think they run the emissions through a scrubber.
this is what i thought as well. these things are seriously amazing. a few hundred miles east of where i live the army was burning VX gas in these super heat chambers that went through a scrubber and were vented off. the epa was constantly around that place and found no traces of anything.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:49 PM   #14
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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Red squirrel -

I would not go heavy on the marshmallows. I know of a family of 6 that all have severe permanent brain damage from being in a house that burned treated wood scraps for fuel. It seemed to burn well and there was no odor, but the damage was cumulative.

If everything is perfect, it may be acceptable, but few residential applications are not perfect and there is no monitoring and sampling, pre-treatment or maintenance programs.

Dick

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Ouch. Was kidding though, well I think I tried it like once, then realized it was probably a bad idea. We had some PT lumber, a broken chair, and a bunch of other crap burning. When the flames are turning weird colors like green, blue and purple, it's best to not be cooking anything on it.

Is new PT lumber still that dangerous? It does seem kinda bad from an environmental point of view that they used such dangerous chemicals.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:50 AM   #15
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Burning telephone poles & railroad tries ?


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Red squirrel -
I would not go heavy on the marshmallows. I know of a family of 6 that all have severe permanent brain damage from being in a house that burned treated wood scraps for fuel. It seemed to burn well and there was no odor, but the damage was cumulative.
People will burn anything... Reminds me of friends of ours. They went to a cookout and thought the flames looked funny colors. They asked the H.O. where the wood was from and it turned out to be the old floor

They ate a lot of chips n' salsa that night.....

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