Degradation of wood veneers by Fenton’s reagents: effects of low molecular weight phenolic compounds on hydrogen peroxide decay and tensile strength loss

IRG/WP 09-20400

Yanjun Xie, R Well, Zefang Xiao, B Goodell, J Jellison, H Militz, C Mai

Pine wood (Pinus sylvestris) veneers strips were incubated in acetate buffer containing hydrogen peroxide and iron to mimic mechanisms of brown rot decay and assess the degradation of cellulose through analysis of the tensile properties of the decayed wood. The tensile properties of thin wood strips treated with Fenton system reagents or precursors were determined and correlated to weight loss as reaction conditions were varied. The effect of 2,3‑DHBA concentration on the decay rate of H2O2 in the reaction mixture and the mechanisms of H2O2 decomposition will be discussed. The concentration and ratio of the low molecular weight, phenolic compound 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,3‑DHBA) were also studied with regard to the generation of hydroxyl radicals from H2O2 and the resulting weight and strength loss. The pathway and rate of H2O2 decay depended on the pH and the medium (water, buffer) of the reaction mixture. As the concentrations of 2,3-DHBA above an optimal ration with iron, strength loss of the wood strips was reduced. This is likely to have occurred because concentrations of catechols that exceed a 1:1 ratio sequester iron via hexadentate and quadradentate ligand formation as has been previously reported Wood constituents were also shown to reduce Fe(III) to Fe(II) and to drive the Fenton reaction.

Keywords: Fenton reaction, tensile strength, 2,3‑dihydroxybenzoic acid, brown rot decay, reduced oxygen species

Conference: 09-05-24/28 Beijing, China

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