ESG, the UK’s leading provider of testing, inspection and compliance services, is set to present on laboratory testing of coal tar products to delegates at this month’s Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum (YCLF).
The topic for this year’s forum, taking place at the University of Sheffield on Friday 24 February, is ‘Advances in Contaminated Land Assessment’. ESG’s Paul Walker, senior development specialist, Specialist Chemistry, is set to close proceedings with his talk on ‘Laboratory Testing of Coal Tar Products’, which is a key topic in the contaminated land arena.
Without giving too much away ahead of the event, it is fair to say that Paul’s talk will advise YCLF delegates on all aspects of coal tar testing, from an overview of coal tar use, down to the detail of PAHs that can be tested in the laboratory. Paul will take the time to provide an overview of coal tar in asphalt road surfaces, before outlining the specific analysis that can be carried out to identify PAHs, such as GC/MS identification. Moving on to testing coal tar in fuels, the emphasis will be on complex results, such as false positives from PAHs.
As coal tar contains complex combinations of hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkyl PAHs, cresols, phenols and carbazoles, as well as heterocyclic oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen compounds, it is important to analyse the chemical composition as some may contain known carcinogens such as benzene.
The primary routes of human exposure to coal tars and coal tar products are inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin. By testing coal tar in independent laboratories, the chemical composition can be identified to ensure that material that is hazardous is not sent for recycling or to landfill. On the other hand valuable material, which may have previously been assumed to be hazardous, can be reused for the likes of roads, once identified as non-hazardous.
Zoe Cooper, business development director, Energy & Waste Services, ESG, said: “I have been on the Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum committee for over a decade, because I believe that it is important to share current best practice, not only with ESG clients, but also with the wider industry.
“My colleague Paul has been nominated to present at this year’s forum as he is an expert on coal tar analysis and understands the importance of achieving quality analysis for our clients. By identifying known carcinogens, such as PAHs, within coal tar, we can reduce the amount of hazardous waste being incorrectly sent to landfill. Likewise, where we do not find any hazardous elements within the composition of certain coal tar products we can help our clients to save money and support the waste hierarchy by reusing valuable material.”
If you would like to learn more about laboratory testing on coal tar products, why not attend this year’s Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum at Sheffield University?