Short-term protection of palm wood against moulds and decay fungi by environment-friendly organic acids

IRG/WP 15-10843

M Bahmani, O Schmidt

Felled palm trunks are susceptible to fungi as long as their moisture content is above fibre saturation. During this period, it has to be protected against moulds and decay fungi. The study tested environmental-friendly organic acids for their protecting efficiency. Small samples of Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) wood were treated with weak organic acids and subsequently infected by moulds and wood-decay fungi. Short dipping of the samples in solutions of 5% acetic acid and propionic acid, respectively, protected all samples for two months from colonization by Aspergillus niger, Penicillium sp., Cladosporium sp., and by a natural infection. Boric acid (4%) used in practice for protection was ineffective. Decay tests with the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus, the brown-rot species Coniophora puteana and the soft-rot fungus Chaetomium globosum showed that both acids prevented most samples from fungal colonization and reduced decay considerably during two months.

Keywords: Phoenix dactylifera, Elaeis guineensis, mould and decay fungi, protection, acetic acid, propionic acid, boric acid

Conference: 15-05-10/14 Vina del Mar, Chile

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