The exceptional natural durability of Prosopis africana heartwood was investigated to find potential new biocides for wood preservation. Extractions carried out with different solvents indicated high levels of extractives which explained wood durability towards fungal and insects attacks. However, the extractives were not enough to explain the durability. The hydrophobic character of the wood also likely had a significant effect. Contact angle measurements before and after extraction, indicated that extractives have only a minor effect on wood hydrophobicity. Microscopic analysis reveals the presence of high levels of gums filling the wood cell lumens, limiting the penetration of water.
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