Tolerance of Wood Decay Fungi to Commercial Copper Based Wood Preservatives

IRG/WP 02-30291

F Pohleven, M Humar, S A Amartey, J Benedik

Due to the use of copper based preservatives like CCB or CCA for more than a century, copper tolerant fungi have appeared in some European countries in recent times. It is therefore important to find out whether this phenomenon is specific for only classical copper ingredients, or generally for all copper based formulation. Thus, we tested the tolerance of three commercial copper based preservatives and copper(II) sulphate as well as potassium dichromate for comparison. In this research, seven copper tolerant Antrodia isolates and copper intolerant fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum were tested using a screening test and standard laboratory test SIST EN 113. Screening test were performed on potato dextrose agar (PDA) with copper concentration between 5.0×10-4 and 2.5×10-2 mol/l. The tolerance determined by the screening test was not always comparable with results obtained with the standard laboratory test. However, results obtained on wood samples showed that various fungal isolates exhibited different levels of copper tolerance depending on the copper based biocide. Tolerant strains were able to decay copper sulfate as well as copper naphthenate preserved wood samples. On the other hand, even the most tolerant fungi could not decompose wood preserved with classical CCB or copper amine preservative. It can therefore be concluded that various fungal isolates exhibited different copper tolerance regarding copper formulations. This finding is very important for remediation of waste treated wood by fungi. For a successful detoxification of waste wood impregnated with multi salt preservatives like CCA or CCB the suitable tolerant fungal strains have to be used, simultaneously for synergistic action.


Keywords: Copper based preservatives, copper tolerance, wood decaying fungi, laboratory test, waste wood remediation

Conference: 02-05-12/17 Cardiff, Wales, UK


Download document (455 kb)
free for the members of IRG.

Order document from secretariat