Recycling and utilization of waste cross-sleepers

One of the “Pirotex” spheres of application is recycling of waste cross-sleepers. The problem is that polygons, where waste cross-sleepers are buried, are overfulled, as a rule. Herewith, Russia takes the third in the world (after the USA and China) in the extension of railway – 121 thous. km. There are from 1 640 to 2 000  cross-sleepers in one kilometer. Each of them is treated with carbonous creosote oil (creosote). It's not surprising, that the recycling of waste  cross-sleepers became a sore subject.

The scheme, which is used for  waste cross-sleepers recycling, is looked the following way today: 1. cross-sleepers are kept illegitimately, paying ecological fines in case of control; 2. Instead of the third hazard rating, people try to get the findings of the fourth or even the fifth hazard rating of these wastes, and either burn them, or pass these cross-sleepers to people for private outdoor building-up, despite the harm, that damages the environment and human's organism.

CROSS SLIPER A railroad tie/railway tie/crosstie (North America) or railway sleeper (British Isles, Australasia, and Africa) is a rectangular support for the rails in railroad tracks. Generally laid perpendicular to the rails, ties transfer loads to the track ballast and subgrade, hold the rails upright and keep them spaced to the correct gauge.
CREOSOTES are a category of carbonaceous chemicals formed by the distillation of various tars and by pyrolysis of plant-derived material, such as wood or fossil fuel. They are typically used as preservatives or antiseptics.


Parametr Rate Unit
 Size 2750x250x180, 2750х230х160 mm
 Mass 80-100 kg
Material pine, white-wood, fir-tree, larch, birch  

Wood volume

0,1012-0,1237 m3
Life time from 7 to 40 year

Norm of antiseptic absorbing 

 79 - 90 kg/m3

The main legal ways of waste cross-sleepers recycling (except burial) include: burning, gasification and pyrolysis. All of them are, anyway, the opportunity of waste cross-sleepers recommission, but the effectiveness of each deserves certain consideration.

BURNINGpyrolysis of cross-slipers

The most wide-spread way of the  recycling of waste cross-sleepers, as its realization doesn't cost a lot. The process consists of simple cross-sleepers burning, but you can get ash and volatile toxic matters (for example, acetone, phenanthrenes, phenols etc.), which get into the air, as final products. The last mentioned can be the reason for oncological diseases of people, during long-term effect. Burning – isn't only economically unfruitful, but it is also dangerous..


pyrolysis of cross-slipersThis method is thousand times safer and  non-hazardous, than burning. Fuel (cross-sleepers) during gasification converts to the dusty flow. According to the statistics, most gas-generators, which serve for cross-sleepers gasification aren't economically fruitful and have low productivity under relatively high expenses for exploitation.ю.


The most advanced way of  the waste cross-sleepers recycling. The reaction (airtight thermal cracking) proceeds in enclosed space, that's why waste cross-sleepers pyrolysis is the most sustainable way of their recycling. The economy of the process is provided by means of using derivative products. 

Derivative products yield under cross-sleepers pyrolysis (proved by the experiment on "Pirotex" pyrolysis plant):
Carbon – 25%
Liquid fuel – 18%
Gas - 57%

You should understand, that only treated with creosote or any other hydrocarbon preservations cross-sleepers can be entitled to pyrolysis. Some factories for cross-sleepers treatment started to use water-born wood preservatives, based on cuprum. Such cross-sleepers aren't entitled to pyrolysis, as they don't contain hydrocarbons for distillation.

On the photo below you can see carbon, got under the waste cross-sleepers pyrolysis process. Based on the research findings, sorption activity of the cross-sleepers' carbon is slightly higher, than birch's carbon. On the second photo you can see gas burning, also got under the cross-sleepers pyrolysis.

pyrolysis of cross-sliperspyrolysis of cross-slipers

'Technokomplex” company experimentally proved, that you can do economically fruitful and environmentally clear business of waste cross-sleepers recycling, by means of pyrolysis plant "Pirotex".