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Pyrolysis distillates from tree bark and fibre hemp inhibit the growth of wood-decaying fungi

Barbero-López, Aitor, Chibily, Soumaya, Tomppo, Laura, Salami, Ayobami, Ancin-Murguzur, Francisco Javier, Venäläinen, Martti, Lappalainen, Reijo, Haapala, Antti
Industrial crops and products 2019 v.129 pp. 604-610
Betula, Picea, antifungal agents, bark, culture media, decay fungi, decayed wood, distillates, hemp, propionic acid, pyrolysis, pyrolysis oils, synergism, trees, wood preservatives
The quest for cleaner wood preservatives is one of the major foci of contemporary wood science. Pyrolysis distillates are potential intermediates to extract large volumes of bioactive chemicals. The aim of this study was to characterize pyrolysis distillates from spruce and birch bark and hemp and test different fractions as potential antifungals to prevent wood decay. In all the fungi tested, distillates of spruce caused over 40% inhibition at 0.1% concentration; significant inhibition could be observed when the concentration of the distillates in growth media was 1%. The results indicate that inhibition was caused by the synergetic action of different chemicals in the pyrolysis distillates. When the individual components were considered, propionic acid exhibited a very high inhibitory effect against the wood decay fungi. The high inhibition of the pyrolysis distillates at 1% and lower concentrations demonstrate that pyrolysis liquids could be a source for formulations of sustainable wood preservatives.