Moldicidal properties of seven essential oils

IRG/WP 06-30404

V W Yang, C A Clausen

When wood and wood products are exposed to moisture during storage, construction or while in-service, mold growth can occur in 24 to 48 hours. Mold growth could be suppressed or prevented if wood was treated with an effective mold inhibitor. The objective of this study was to evaluate the mold inhibiting properties of natural plant extracts such as essential oils. Seven essential oils were evaluated for their ability to inhibit growth of Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma viride, and Penicillium chrysogenum on Southern yellow pine (SYP) specimens that were either dip-treated or exposed to volatiles of the test oils. Dip treatment with thyme or geranium (Egyptian) oil inhibited growth of test fungi for 20 weeks. Vapors from dill weed oil also inhibited all test fungi for at least 20 weeks when the vapor source remained in the test apparatus. Essential oils may be useful as moldicidal surface-treatments or fumigants for wood and wood products.

Keywords: mold fungi, essential oil, plant extract, moldicide

Conference: 06-06-18/22 Tromsoe, Norway

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