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Wood Treating Chemicals: Markets

KMG-Bernuth’s key product for the industrial wood treating market – pentachlorophenol – is commonly used in high-volume applications where preserving wood economically is a priority.

Pentachlorophenol, known as penta for short, is used primarily to treat wooden utility poles. Penta helps to protect utility poles from insect damage and weather decay.

According to industry statistics, there are more than 40 million wooden utility poles in the U.S. alone. Each year, electric power and telecommunications utilities purchase approximately two million wooden utility poles in the United States. Approximately 45% of these poles are treated with pentachlorophenol, a highly effective wood preservative which protects the pole from insect damage and weather decay. As the leading manufacturer of penta in North America, we’re proud to say that penta-treated poles have a 60-plus year track record of environmental safety.

Unlike poles treated with a competing product, known as CCA (chromated copper arsenate), penta-treated poles are climbable by linemen. This characteristic is particularly advantageous anywhere bucket trucks (“cherry-pickers”) are impractical or unavailable for the utility linemen who service and repair transmission and telephone lines. When removed from service, penta-treated poles can be reused and recycled or burned for energy in combustion units and industrial boilers.

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