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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Durability and Wood Protection Research

Project Title :  New sharply targeted inhibitors are needed to protect wood products in service and prevent economic and resource losses that result from biodeter
Project Number : FPL-4723-4
Start Date : 07-23-2007
End Date : 07-23-2012

View the 28 publications associated with this project.

Principal Investigator:
Carol A. Clausen

Non Technical Summary
PhotoUnderstanding the mechanism and prevalence of copper tolerance in decay fungi is vital for satisfactory long-term performance of copper-based alternatives to CCA. Development of new environmentally compatible wood protection systems are needed to replace conventional broad-spectrum pesticides. Mold growth and its impact on indoor air quality have become an increasingly problematic housing issue. Airborne spores can cause health problems in human occupants and their presence is indicative of elevated moisture. While there is no substitute for moisture management in a structure, environmentally benign moldicides for surface treatment of dimension lumber or for incorporation into engineered composites need to be developed. Repair costs for structural damage caused by Formosan (Coptotermes formosans) and Eastern (Reticulitermes flavipes) subterranean termites are estimated to be $10 billion annually. Economic losses resulting from the northward spread of both species are projected to grow underscoring the importance of protecting structural building components from this pest through the development of environmentally safe and effective biocides. Anobiid powderpost beetles (PPBs) are a ubiquitous pest of in-service wood in both interior and exterior applications. Under conditions of elevated moisture, PPBs can cause significant structural damage to fully seasoned wood (both hardwoods and softwoods). PPBs are economically important pests on a global scale that are spread through infestations of imported wood furniture.

Objectives Summary
New environmentally compatible preservatives will be developed to replace conventional broad-spectrum pesticides. We will develop, test, and validate new evaluation methods based on biochemical properties of decay fungi or mechanical properties of wood. Experimental formulations assessed in laboratory mold, decay, and termite tests will be correlated with field tests.

Approach Summary
Environmentally compatible preservatives will be developed to control decay, mold, and termites. Synergistic combinations of compounds with known biocidal properties will be individually screened and combinations will be evaluated for efficacy and synergistic activity. Nanoparticles will be evaluated as delivery systems for controlled release of known biocides and incorporated into engineered composites. Nanometals will be evaluated for fungicidal and termiticidal properties. We will develop bio-attractants for termite detection and in-place treatments for powderpost beetle control.

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2010Antifungal Essential Oil Metabolites07/15/10
2012Build Green: Wood Can Last for Centuries09/04/12
2010Chemical mediated depolymerization of cotton cellulose for the understanding of non-enzymatic fungal decay07/15/10
2011Chronicles of Fibroporia radiculosa (= Antrodia radiculosa) TFFH 29412/14/11
2009Correlation between oxalic acid production and tolerance of Tyromyces palustris strain TYP-6137 to N',N-naphthaloylhydroxamine11/02/09
2011Critical fluid extraction of Juniperus virginiana L. and bioactivity of extracts against subterranean termites and wood-rot fungi11/08/11
2012Death-Watch and Spider Beetles of Wisconsin—Coleoptera: Ptinidae08/02/12
2010Decay and termite resistance, water absorption and swelling of thermally compressed wood panels01/10/11
2009Do the unique properties of nanometals affect leachability or efficacy against fungi and termites?06/26/09
2010Efficacy of Fatty Acid Chemistry: Candidate Mold and Decay Fungicides03/08/11
2011Enzymatic mechanism of oxalate production in the TCA and glyoxylate pathways using various isolates of Antrodia radiculosa03/15/12
2010Fatty Acid-Based Formulations for Wood Protection against Mold and Sapstain10/20/10
2009Feasibility of Nanozinc Oxide as a Wood Preservative05/17/10
2008Fumigant Toxicity of Essential Oils to Reticulitermes flavipes04/27/09
2010Invasive soil organisms and their effects on belowground processes10/05/10
2010Investigation of Shift in Decay Hazard (Scheffer) Index Values over the Period 1969-2008 in the Conterminous United States05/16/11
2011Leach and mold resistance of essential oil metabolites03/13/12
2010New approaches to wood protection07/15/10
2011NHA Choice test : Feeding Dilemma for Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar)06/06/11
2010Observations on colony collapse in Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) in laboratory and field settings in Wisconsin07/15/10
2012Preliminary evaluation of storax and its constituents: Fungal decay mold and termite resistance05/04/12
2008Preliminary investigation of biological resistance, water absorption and swelling of thermally compressed pine wood panels10/15/10
2011Salt Damage to Wood--"Fuzzy Wood" Often Confused with Fungal Decay05/01/12
2009Surface Modification of Wood by Alkoxysilane Sol-Gel Deposition to Create Anti-mold and Anti-fungal Characteristics08/23/10
2010Towards Understanding the Biology of Wood Decay07/15/10
2008Transfer of termiticidal dust compounds and their effects on symbiotic protozoa of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar)10/15/10
2010Wood Handbook, Chapter 14: Biodeterioration of Wood06/21/10

Project Summaries last modified: 06-21-2011