Imperial College London

Dr Florence Gschwend

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Honorary Research Fellow



f.gschwend12 Website




329Bone BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Remediation of CCA-treated waste wood using ionic liquids

This project is part of a larger project, aiming to develop a cost-effective biorefinery that uses non-edible biomass as a feedstock for fuels and chemicals. Specifically waste construction wood which is contaminated with a copper, chromium and arsenic containing preservative is being used as an inexpensive raw material.  This preservative prolongs the lifetime of wood by making it non-bio degradable. After its use as construction timber, the wood still contains the preservative which leaches out into the environment if not contained properly and therefore poses a waste management problem if not treated adequately. During our process, metals can be extracted to a large proportion into the liquid phase during the treatment step and electroplating for subsequent metal recovery is being investigated. Therefore, this process potentially not only decreases process costs by using waste as a feedstock for fuels and chemicals but also solves a waste management problem and increases revenues if the metals can successfully be recovered after treatment.