Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Helena Solo-Gabriele

Second Committee Member

Jacqueline James

Third Committee Member

Lynne Fieber

Fourth Committee Member

Timothy Townsend


Weathered waterborne treated wood is believed to behave differently than new wood during service regarding the loss of its metallic-based preservatives. Also, weathered preserved wood should be separated from the unpreserved wood upon recycle. The first objective of this dissertation was to evaluate losses from weathered CCA-treated wood samples at different retention levels under normal field conditions and to compare leaching to new ACQ (as alternative to CCA). Results showed that arsenic leached at a higher rate than chromium and copper in all CCA treated wood samples, while copper leached the highest from the ACQ sample. Overall results suggest that the leaching rate of metals on a percent basis from in-service pressure treated wood may increase as the wood weathers; however due to lower retention levels of the metals in the wood as it ages the yearly mass of metals lost would be at similar or at lower quantities in comparison to new treated wood. The second objective was to evaluate the use of automated X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems for identifying and removing As-based and Cu-based treated wood within the recovered wood waste stream. A full-scale online automated XRF-detection, conveyance and diversion system was used for experimentation. At the different applied feeding rates and belt speeds, online sorting efficiencies of waste wood by XRF technology were high (>70% for both treated wood and untreated wood). The incorrectly diverted pieces of wood were attributed to deficiencies in the wood conveyance systems and not to deficiencies in the XRF-based detection. Online sorting was shown to sort wood which would meet the residential soil cleanup target levels in Florida when an infeed is composed of 5% of treated wood pieces. Comparisons with other sorting methods show that XRF technology can potentially fulfill the need for cost-effective processing at large wood recycling facilities (> 30 tons per day). Management of weathered CCA-preserved wood, due to its continuity of leaching metals and the need to remove it upon the recycle of wood, will likely continue until complete banning and removal from the environment, a process that may extend up to the next century.


XRF; Sorting Of Wood; Chromium; Copper; CCA; Arsenic