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Aitor Barbero-López, Mokbul Hossain, Antti Haapala


Organic acids are present in many bio-based chemicals suggested as active ingredients for wood preservative formulations, but their effects in wood have not been studied. However, an understanding of their effect in wood is necessary. The aim of this study was to determine the antifungal and wood-preserving activities in vitro of acetic, formic, and propionic acids against the wood-decaying fungi Coniophora puteana, Rhodonia (Poria) placenta, Gloeophyullum trabeum, and Trametes versicolor. Mixes of these three acids were also tested for possible synergetic effects. All the acids and mixtures showed antifungal activity against the pure cultures of wood-decaying fungi. Propionic acid by itself had the best performance, inhibiting at 1 g/L concentration the growth of all the decay fungi by 99-100%. Despite the antifungal activity of the organic acids, the pine sapwood specimens treated with 3% and 6% acid solutions and exposed to decay by C. Puteana and G. trabeum did not differ significantly from the untreated pine. Leaching of the sapwood specimens caused an incremental mass loss of the sapwood specimens. In addition, the leached specimens had a lower mass than the specimens before the acid impregnation, indicating that they were damaged by the acidic chemicals. The presence and acidity of organic acids in wood-derived bio0-based chemicals need to be assessed before they are used as wood preservatives. 



wood degradation; wood preservation; biorefining; fungistatic; organic acid

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