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Characterization of Copper in leachates from ACQ- and MCQ-treated wood and its effects on basidiospore germination

TitleCharacterization of Copper in leachates from ACQ- and MCQ-treated wood and its effects on basidiospore germination
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsStirling, R, Ruddick, JNR, Xue, W, Morris, PI, Kennepohl, P
JournalWood Fibre Chem.
Date PublishedJUL

The unpenetrated interior of wood with a shell of preservative treatment may be exposed when the wood is cut or when checks open up. Mobile copper from wood shell-treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has been shown to protect cut ends and checks against basidiospore germination. However, recent observations found that leachates from alkaline copper quat (ACQ)-treated wood failed to prevent basidiospore germination on untreated wood although copper levels were higher than toxic thresholds previously identified. It was hypothesized that the copper in leachate from ACQ-treated wood may be coordinated with monoethanolamine and/or lignin-based ligands and that this may result in poorer performance against basidiospores. In this study, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to determine the form of copper in leachates from ACQ, micronized copper quat (MCQ), and copper-sulfate-treated wood. Leachates from ACQ-treated wood contained at least some degree of coordination with a nitrogen- and oxygen-containing ligand, probably monoethanolamine. This was not detected in leachates from MCQ and copper-sulfate-treated wood. These leachates were further evaluated for their ability to inhibit germination of Tyromyces palustris basidiospores. At low concentrations of copper, the CuSO4 and MCQ leachates were more effective than the ACQ leachate. At high concentrations CuSO4 and MCQ, leachates prevented germination in all samples, whereas ACQ leachates prevented germination in all but one sample.