Leaching characteristics of homologues of benzalkonium chloride from wood treated with ammoniacal copper quaternary wood preservative

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In Japan, ammoniacal copper quaternary wood preservatives type-1 (ACQ-1), which contains copper and benzalkonium chloride as its active ingredients, is among the most widely used wood preservatives in the pressure treatment of wood. Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) in commercial ACQ-1 products mainly comprises C12 and C14 homologues. In the present study, the leaching characteristics of these BAC homologues were investigated using the heartwood and sapwood portions of Japanese cedar, Japanese larch, and Sakhalin fir treated with ACQ-1 and 1% monoethanolamine (MEA) solution containing equimolar amounts of homologues. Distilled water (DW) and artificial seawater (SW) were used as leaching media. Consequently, it was observed that the leaching rate of the C12 homologue tended to be higher than that of the C14 homologue in DW. The leaching of C12 homologues was accelerated by using SW, resulting in a significantly higher leaching rate than the C14 homologue using SW. It was thought that the difference in the hydrophobicities based on alkyl chain lengths resulted in these phenomena. However, when the heartwood portion of Japanese larch was treated with the homologues in MEA, the leaching rate of the C14 homologue was significantly higher than that of the C12 homologue.

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