Decay resistance of acetylated and hexanoylated hardwood and softwood species exposed to Coniophora puteana

Callum A.S. Hill 1 , Simon F. Curling 1 , Jin H. Kwon 2 ,  and Virginie Marty 3
  • 1 Centre for Timber Engineering, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
  • 2 Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Kangwon University, Gangwon, Republic of Korea
  • 3 ENSTIB, Epinal, France


The effect of chemical modification with acetic or hexanoic anhydride upon the decay resistance of wood was studied. Both sapwoods and heartwoods of the following trees were investigated: Japanese larch, Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carrière; Korean pine, Pinus koraiensis Siebold et Zucc. as softwoods and European beech (only sapwood), Fagus sylvatica L.; oriental white oak, Quercus aliena (Blume) as hardwoods. After chemical modification, the samples were exposed to the brown rot fungus Coniophora puteana (FPRL 11E). The study investigated whether weight percentage gain or degree of hydroxyl substitution were the main factors controlling decay resistance. It was found that decay resistance is associated primarily with cell wall bulking rather than hydroxyl substitution. However, there are differences in behaviour between the acetylated and hexanoylated wood and the possible reasons for these differences are discussed.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.