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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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Correspondence to Makoto Ohkoshi.

Additional information

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