Efficacy of wood preservatives formulated from okara with copper and/or boron salts

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As a substitute for high-cost copper azole (CuAz) and alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) wood preservatives, alternative wood preservatives were formulated with okara, which is an organic waste from the production of tofu, and copper chloride and/or borax. Each preservative was used in treatment of wood blocks in a reduced-pressure method to measure its treatability. The treated wood blocks were placed in hot water for 3 days to examine the stability of the preservatives against hot-water leaching. The preservatives successfully penetrated into wood blocks, probably due to the use of ammonium hydroxide as a dissociating agent. However, the stability of okara-based preservatives dropped as the concentration of acid in the solutions used for hydrolysis of okara increased. The treatability and leachability of the preservatives were not affected by hydrolysis temperature but were negatively affected by the addition of borax. Leached wood blocks treated with okara-based preservatives and exposed to decay fungi Gloeophyllum trabeum and Postia placenta over 12 weeks showed good decay resistance. Okara-based wood preservatives can protect wood against fungal attack as effectively as CuAz, and have potential for use as environmentally friendly wood preservatives.

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