Detection of dry rot by air analysis

IRG/WP 92-2399

P Esser, A C Tas

Detection of dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) at an early stage appears to be very difficult in practice. Also control inspections in buildings, after remedial treatment of dry rot, have a limited accuracy. The use of trained dogs in Denmark initiated the idea for this research on the possible use of air analysis as a detection method. The Centre for Timber Research-TNO (TNO-CHT) and the Institute for Biotechnology and Chemistry therefore started a research programme sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environmental Management in the Netherlands. The Centre for Timber Research has cultured under controlled laboratory conditions Serpula lacrymans and seven other fungi, which frequently occur in building structures. From these cultures air samples were taken and analysed by IBC-TNO, using GC-MS. Results indicate, that each fungus has it's own specific "blueprint" of volatile metabolic compounds. Though this is a promising start, further research is necessary to see, how growth conditions and environment may influence the consistency of the air analysis. This air analysis, could have application as another non-destructive detection method for decay caused by fungi. Other potential applications also need exploring.


Keywords: AIR ANALYSIS; DETECTION; DRY ROT; FUNGI; GC/MS; SERPULA LACRYMANS; VOLATILE METABOLITES; VOC

Conference: 92-05-10/15 Harrogate, England, UK


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