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Cellulose Nanocrystals Chemically Entrap Biocide in Wood
Snapshot: Forest Service scientists evaluated naturally occurring cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) that are reported to have unique chemical properties and impart high strength were evaluated for the potential to improve durability of wood. CNC were shown to penetrate wood and chemically bind to an otherwise leachable biocide, benzalkonium chloride (ADBAC), creating a CNC-biocide hybrid that agglomerated within wood. Biological and chemical analysis of southern pine treated with the CNC-biocide hybrid did not appreciably alter resistance to fungal colonization, termite attack, or chemical leaching. There were no significant changes to strength properties or mass loss during combustion to southern pine treated with the CNC-biocide hybrid.
Sequential vacuum treatment of southern pine with naturally occurring cellulose nanocrystals followed by biocide demonstrated penetration of wood before agglomeration occurred (left), but reversing the treatment sequence resulted in agglomeration on the surface of southern pine (right). USDA Forest Service