Enhancement of the biological resistance of wood by phenylboronic acid treatment

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Phenylboronic acid (PBA) was tested in terms of boron leachability from treated wood. In addition, the fungal and termiticidal efficacy of PBA-impregnated sugi (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) wood was tested against the decay fungi Coriolus versicolor (L. ex Fr.) Quel. and Tyromyces palustris (Berk. et Curt) Murr., representing white-rot and brown-rot fungi, respectively, and the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Ion chromatography analysis of hot water extracts of treated wood before and after leaching indicated that PBA is considerably resistant to water leaching, and saturation of the treatment solution increased the fixation ratio of boron in wood, whereas boric acid could not remain in wood impregnated even with the saturated solution. Decay test results revealed the excellent bioactive performance of PBA. Wood treated with 0.34% PBA solution was found resistant to both decay fungi, even after running-water leaching for 10 days and treatment with 1.00% PBA completely inactivated the Formosan subterranean termite for the leached specimens. Weight gain levels were 0.18% w/w (0.46kg/m3) and 0.99% w/w (2.49kg/m3) for these concentration levels, respectively, after being leached by running water. Contrary to the general belief that boron is a slow-acting toxicant against termites and unable to prevent mass loss of treated wood, PBA acted rapidly, and the mass loss caused by termites was low.

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