Extracts from an industrial charcoal manual reveal what pollutants need to be dealt with in the process.
We understand that one tonne of dry wood produces 40 kilos of highly toxic and corrosive tarry sludge. This equates to about 8,000 tonnes of sludge per annum. This sludge will be treated with a biological agent then dried in tanks on site. It will then have to disposed of.
The plant site will contain ponds and will be surrounded by bunding to retain run-off from the site and leachates from the wood. Any overflow or seepage would run into adjoining wetlands which feed into Candlagan Creek.
The Charcoalition is concerned about seepage and overflow. The company has stated that “In extreme storm conditions, the treated water will be released from the site in a controlled manner.”
About one truck load of the toxic sludge will be removed from the plant and disposed of each week.
Sawdust is also produced. There is a suggestion that the sawdust could be burned to generate power, or used elsewhere. Between 20,000 and 50,000 tonnes of sawdust will have to be disposed of each year.