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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Characterization of acetylated wood decayed by brown-rot and white-rot fungi


The objective of this study was to characterize the decay of acetylated wood due to brown-rot and white-rot fungi by analysis of chemical composition, X-ray measurements, and13C-NMR spectroscopy. The decay by brown-rot fungus became inhibited at a weight percent gain (WPG) due to acetylation of more than 10%, and the mass loss (LOSS) due to decay became zero at a WPG of about 20%. The LOSS due to white-rot fungus decreased slowly with the increase in WPG, reaching zero at a WPG of about 12%. The losses of lignin by brown-rot decay increased initially with the decrease in LOSS owing to the progressing acetylation and then decreased at a LOSS of less than 60%. Polysaccharides were more easily decomposed than lignin during the decay of acetylated wood due to brown-rot fungus. The losses of both components due to white-rot decay decreased as the LOSS decreased with progressing acetylation. The white-rot fungus tended to preferentially decompose the lignin during the decay of acetylated wood. The brown-rot fungus decomposed the cellulose in the crystalline region to a large degree when the LOSS was more than 40%, whereas the white-rot fungus decomposed the crystalline region and the noncrystalline region in acetylated wood to the same degree. The brown-rot fungus preferentially decomposed unsubstituted xylose units in acetylated wood and partly decomposed the mono-substituted xylose units. It was suggested that the mono- and disubstituted cellulose were partly decomposed by brown-rot fungus.


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This paper was presented at the 46th and 47th annual meetings of the Japan Wood Research Society at Kumamoto and Kochi in April 1996 and April 1997, respectively

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Ohkoshi, M., Kato, A., Suzuki, K. et al. Characterization of acetylated wood decayed by brown-rot and white-rot fungi. J Wood Sci 45, 69–75 (1999).

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Key words

  • Acetylated wood
  • Brown-rot and white-rot decay
  • Chemical composition Crystallinity
  • Acetyl distribution