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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Termite resistance and physical properties of biobased composition boards made from cotton gin byproducts and guayule bagasse

Authors
item Holt, Gregory
item Chow, Poo -
item Coffelt, Terry
item Nakayama, Francis

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 21, 2009
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
Citation: Holt, G.A., Chow, P., Coffelt, T.A., Nakayama, F.S. 2009. Termite resistance and physical properties of biobased composition boards made from cotton gin byproducts and guayule bagasse [abstract]. Presented at the poster session of the International Research Group on Wood Protection Conference May 26, 2009, in Beijing, China. Published in the IRG document IRG/WP 09-60270 (The 40th Annual Meeting of IRG Program and List of Participants), May 24-28, 2009, Stockholm, Sweden, p. 11.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this research was to determine the termite resistance property of experimental composition boards made from cotton gin byproducts (CGB) and guayule bagasse. Vast quantities of CGB, also known as cotton gin trash or cotton gin waste, are being produced across the cotton belt of the United States annually. Similarly, guayule wastes after rubber latex production is expected to increase as this industry begins to expand. Use of these waste materials in value-added products can help the economics of the crops, and importantly, aid in alleviating waste management and environmental problems. Conventional wood preservatives used to protect wood from insect and microbial damage are presently of major concern to human health and the environment. Finding alternative and economical preservatives has not been successful. Waste guayule bagasse has been shown to have termite control properties so that a combination of cotton gin and guayule wastes could also have such valuable properties. Composition boards were made from five different ratios of CGB to guayule bagasse: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 (A, B, C, D, and E). Board composition was homogenous with no orientation of fibers. Boards (A1) consisting of 100 % cotton gin waste passing through the 6.35 mm mesh screen were also made. In addition, three-layered boards (C1) consisting of 25% guayule bagasse (upper layer), 50% CGB (middle layer), and 25% guayule bagasse (bottom layer) were made. For comparison, a commercial southern pine lumber (S.P.) board, a commercial oriented strandboard (OSB), and a commercial preservative treated medium density fiberboard (MDF) were included in the testing. In addition to the termite testing, mechanical properties of the CGB and guayule bagasse composition boards were measured and compared to various standards of other commercial boards. Five specimens (1.1cm thick x 2.5cm x 2.5cm) were cut from each of the ten different board materials and tested using Eastern subterranean termites. More than 400 active termites were placed into a specimen bottle consisting of sand and the material block to be tested. Weight loss, termite survival days, and visual grade of each specimen at the end of the test were determined. The approximate termite mortality in each bottle after one week was estimated according to the testing standards. Test results confirmed good termite control quality of boards made from guayule bagasse alone. Boards containing CGB to guayule wastes ratios of 75:25 and 50:50 obtained similar termite resistance to that of the commercial OSB based on the average values of total weight loss and one-week termite mortality rate. In visual grading of tested specimens after the test, all seven CGB and guayule bagasse composition boards and the treated MDF showed better than average rating compared to the commercial OSB and pine lumber. No difference was found among the average total termite surviving days for all seven groups of boards made from CGB and guayule bagasse wastes. Overall, the biobased CGB and guayule bagasse boards showed some potential. Results indicate the CGB to possess some inheritable quality of termite resistance.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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