Industrial timber still finds many applications in today’s world, including railway sleepers and utility poles, as well as landscaping timbers. Traditionally, Creosote (a wood preservative pesticide) has been used to protect timber and increase its longevity. For several years, the safety and environmental credentials of Creosote have been under review in Europe and its use has been restricted under the EU’s Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).
For over a decade, our wood protection R&D team has worked to develop a BPR-authorized alternative and in April 2021 introduced Tanasote®, a modern alternative to Creosote. Tanasote® is a hot oil-based copper wood preservative that ensures a service life of over 40 years, depending on timber species and application. It is the only oil-based wood preservative approved under the BPR and all its active ingredients are approved for wood preservative use in Europe, with no exclusion criteria met, and no candidates for substitution. Our product has passed the BPR’s risk assessments to be used for the treatment of timbers in industrial heavy-duty applications both above (Use Class 3) and below ground (Use Class 4).
During our extensive R&D process, we tested the performance of the product beyond the required industry standards to ensure that a longer service life for industrial-use timber can be achieved. This included testing in high humidity and aggressive field test sites, as well as laboratory fungal studies. To provide confidence in our test performance data, it was reviewed by BM TRADA and we engaged in full-scale trials with commercial partners across Europe, covering railway sleepers, utility poles, and equestrian and agricultural fencing.
Following up on our ambition to develop more sustainable products, we invested in life cycle analyses (LCA) to help our partners evidence the lower environmental impact of timber treated with Tanasote® compared with other materials such as cast concrete poles, fiberglass polyester poles, steel poles and more. The LCAs confirmed that compared with other materials, timber poles treated with Tanasote® had the lowest environmental impact.