Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345399

Research Project: Evaluation of the Chemical and Physical Properties of Low-Value Agricultural Crops and Products to Enhance Their Use and Value

Location: Functional Foods Research

Title: Hexadecyl ammonium chloride amylose inclusion complex to emulsify cedarwood oil and treat wood against termites and wood-decay fungi

item Eller, Fred
item Hay, William
item Kirker, Grant
item MANKOWSKI, M - Forest Products Laboratory
item Selling, Gordon

Submitted to: International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2018
Publication Date: 2/7/2018
Citation: Eller, F.J., Hay, W.T., Kirker, G.T., Mankowski, M.E., Selling, G.W. 2018. Hexadecyl ammonium chloride amylose inclusion complex to emulsify cedarwood oil and treat wood against termites and wood-decay fungi. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation. 129:95-101.

Interpretive Summary: This research investigated the use of a mixture of a derivative of starch and cedarwood oil (CWO) for pressure treating wood to inhibit attack by termites and wood-rot fungi. Cedarwood oil is obtained from the heartwood of Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) (Cupresseaceae) and is a safe, natural product from an underutilized agricultural resource in the United States. The results indicated that wood treated with the starch/CWO mixture was resistant to attack by both termites and several species of wood-rot fungi. In addition, the starch/CWO mixture inhibited the absorption of water by the treated wood. Water beaded on the surface of treated wood and treated wood gained less water when submerged and did not swell as much as untreated wood. The starch derivative was found to have bioactivity by itself, and this effect may have been due to the wood being kept drier and/or some inherent toxicity of its own. These results demonstrate that the starch/CWO mixture holds promise as a method for treating wood to prevent decay using natural products.

Technical Abstract: Cedarwood oil (CWO) has a wide range of bioactivities, including insect repellency and toxicity as well as conferring resistance against termites and wood-rot fungi. In previous pressure treatment work, ethanol was used as the diluent/carrier for CWO. However, it is preferable to use a water-based carrier for several reasons. In this research, we describe the use of a hexadecyl ammonium chloride starch inclusion complex as an emulsifier for CWO to pressure treat wood. Wood samples were subsequently tested for resistance to termites and four species of wood-rot fungi. Wood was also compared for water absorption and swelling. The results indicated that the starch inclusion complex makes an excellent emulsifier and the Starch/CWO mix inhibits both termites and wood-rot fungi. The starch derivative alone was inhibitory in some cases. The starch derivative also inhibits both water absorption and swelling in treated wood.