Use of resin obtained from Italian guayule crops for wood preservation purposes: some preliminary results

IRG/WP 19-30736

S Palanti, E Conti, M Russo, F Stefani, C Querci

The potential of guayule (Partenium argentatum Gray) as a source of anti-termite, anti-fungal and insect repellent products to be used in wood preservation, has been largely explored in the past. The fact that such products are obtained as byproducts in the process of natural rubber extraction from this plant, thus increasing the profit of the process, together with the ability of this crop to grow on drylands, has attracted interest in the cultivation of guayule in the Mediterranean areas of Europe. Since 2013 the Italian Versalis SpA has been involved in a project to establish a guayule commodity chain, from plant cultivation to natural rubber extraction. As part of this project, the possibility to exploit byproducts of the process for various end-uses, has been investigated. In this study, extracts from the resins of guayule cultivated in the south of Italy were tested against wood attacking organisms, including beetles, termites and decay fungi, proving effective in protecting the impregnated wood. Since a potential as wood preservative in outdoor use was envisaged, treated wood blocks were exposed to UV and xenotest cycles to assess the protection against the weathering effects. This article shows preliminary results from laboratory tests.

Keywords: guayule, Partenium argentatum, Hylotrupes bajulus, Trichoferus holosericeus, Reticulitermes lucifugus, Coniophora puteana, Rhodonia placenta, Trametes versicolor

Conference: 19-05-12/16 Quebec City, Canada

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