Operation Air to detect the burning of treated wood

Varnish-treated wood

Not all organic matter that comes from plants can be considered biomass and it is that processed wood, referring to wood treated with coatings or protective substances eg is not considered like this kind of renewable energy.

The reason is simple, when burning this type of product the emissions produced can be very dangerous And I am not only referring to the environment, since it damages the quality of the air, but it is also very harmful to humans since these toxic substances attached to the wood are released and end up in our body causing serious injuries and diseases.

That is why the Operation Air undertaken by the Civil Guard and the Junta de Castilla Y LeónThis operation is designed to detect industrial and agricultural facilities and workshops where this type of burning takes place.

During this month of March, controls will be intensified in this type of facilities through the Ministry of Development and Environment and the Civil Guard by the Government of Castilla y León.

In addition, not only will the use of industrial wood remains (painted, varnished wood, with plastic coatings or anti-deterioration treatments) be monitored, but also plastics and other substances used in the automotive sector and in agriculture will be monitored, since they are not suitable either. for burning in these facilities.

The statement of the Board is clear “the incineration of waste in these devices is prohibited by the waste regulations, because incineration in boilers that are not designed for this purpose cause significant polluting emissions with possible repercussions on the health of the people and the environment ”.

One day before announcing the operation called Operation Air, it is mentioned in the royal decree 430 / 2004 During the days of the Fira de Biomassa de Catalunya that there are certain limits on emissions produced by large combustion facilities, not considering biomass “wood waste containing remains of organohalogenated compounds or heavy metals as a result of some type of treatment with protective substances or of cladding, such as those from construction ”.

In this way, with Operation Air there will be a special vigilance in counties with furniture manufacturing industries and other natural wood derivatives.

Having four objectives as the main ones;

  1. Control the burning of these fuels.
  2. Raise awareness among operators about its danger to the environment and its danger to public health.
  3. Locate and identify waste managers operating in an inappropriate way.
  4. Improve air quality in the Community and especially in small municipalities where this practice is more widespread.

We are not left alone with industrial or agricultural facilities because despite the fact that there is a regulation that prohibits the burning of these residues, there are also cement companies that admit them and qualify them as biomass or "partially biomass" because they are authorized to burn. of "alternative fuels", a big mistake.

According to the latest environmental authorization granted to the Cosmos de Toral de los Vados cement company, in León, It is one of the few cement companies that only collects forest biomass.

Exterior of the Cosmo cement factory, León

Thanks to Operation Air, many “illegal” burns will be stopped because they are so dangerous. biomass burning for energy purposes can only be through residual biomass and energy crops.

Understanding as residual biomass that which comes from residues of any human activity as:

  • Agricultural, livestock and forestry activities
  • The processes of the agri-food industries
  • Wood transformation processes Biodegradable waste, corresponding to livestock effluents, sewage effluents, sewage sludge, etc.
  • A part of the so-called Urban Solid Waste (food waste, wood, paper ...)
  • Agricultural surplus

And the biomass of energy crops that are made with the exclusive purpose of obtaining materials for their energy use as we saw in some way in the article of "Use of marginal lands for biomass production" with the common cane and the use of lands that are not favorable for agriculture.


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