As pH of leaching medium is an important factor in the leaching of wood preservative components, its effects on leaching should be quantified to ensure environmentally safe use of treated wood. In this study, the effects of pH on leaching of copper from wood treated with copper amine-based preservatives [alkaline copper quat (ACQ)-2, bis-(N-cyclohexyldiazeniumdioxy)-copper (CuHDO)-3, and copper azole (CUAZ)-3] were evaluated in comparison with wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-3. Radiata pine sapwood blocks treated with these preservatives were leached at five pH levels (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 6.5). The leached blocks were subjected to laboratory-scale decay tests using two brown-rot fungi. The blocks treated with copper amine-based preservatives leached significant amounts of copper at pH levels below 4.0. At all pH levels, the CuHDO-3-treated samples generally leached the most copper, followed by the samples treated with ACQ-2, CUAZ-3, and CCA-3. When the treated blocks were leached at pH 3.0, the degradation of hemicelluloses, which can chemically adsorb copper, was confirmed through Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) analysis. Moreover, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicated that the ratio of precipitates of the remaining copper in the treated wood severely decreased after leaching at pH levels below 4.0. Subsequent reduction in the biological effectiveness of wood treated with copper amine-based preservatives was not hardly observed after leaching at pH levels 4.0 or above. These results indicate that copper loss at pH levels 4.0 or above is not great enough to cause public concern about environmental problems and reduction of biological efficacy in practical applications.
- biological efficacy
- copper amine-based preservatives
- copper leaching
ASJC Scopus subject areas