The fungal degradation of quaternary ammonium compounds in wood
J W Dubois, J N R Ruddick
This work focuses on the biodegradation of didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) by the mould fungus Gliocladium roseum within a woody matrix. Three sawdust types, distinguished by their treatment and amount of DDAC retained, were inoculated with the fungus and their DDAC loss was measured over 11 weeks. The rates of degradation varied depending on the sawdust; however, a significant loss of DDAC was observed for all three. A metabolic by-product coincided with the fungal degradation of DDAC. The metabolite was separated using preparative HPLC and identified by proton-NMR and infrared spectroscopy to be a hydroxylated QAC.