Anti-fungal and anti-termite activity of extractives compounds from thermally modified ash woods


  • Kévin Candelier
  • Marie-France Thévenon
  • Robert Collet
  • Philippe Gérardin
  • Stéphane Dumarçay


Antifungal activity, extractive compounds, Fraxinus spp, heat treatment, termite resistance


Thermal modification of wood is a promising alternative to chemical and biocidal modification processes, increasing the biological durability and dimensional stability of wood. However, the wood-decay resistance properties of heat-treated wood are still not well known. The main objective of this study was to determine the biological resistance of heat-treated ash wood, and assess the antifungal and anti-termite activity of extractive compounds from heat-treated ash woods, depending on the intensity of the modification process (2 hours at 170, 200, 215, 228 (°C) - steam pressure). Untreated and heat-treated wood samples were extracted with water or acetone. The extracts were then used to determine inhibition effectiveness against white-rot (Trametes versicolor) and brown-rot (Rhodonia placenta) fungi. Whatman papers impregnated with extractives were used to evaluate the inhibition of termite feeding. Lastly, the extractives were analyzed by Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and compared for their level of anti‑termite and antifungal activity. The results showed that the degree of antifungal activity of these extracts depended on the solvent used during the extraction process and varied depending on heat treatment intensity. The extracts were more effective against brown-rot than white-rot fungi. However, the anti-termite activity of heat-treated ash wood extracts was not really significant. A GC-MS analysis showed that the main share of the extractives in untreated wood was removed. In addition, new chemical elements were generated by the thermal degradation of wood polymers (lignin and hemicelluloses), including aliphatic acids, monosaccharides and other products resulting from their dehydration reaction. The most abundant element was syringaldehyde, from lignin derived compounds, which might explain the antifungal activities of thermally treated ash wood extracts.


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How to Cite

Candelier, K., Thévenon, M.-F., Collet, R., Gérardin, P., & Dumarçay, S. (2020). Anti-fungal and anti-termite activity of extractives compounds from thermally modified ash woods. Maderas-Cienc Tecnol, 22(2), 223–240. Retrieved from




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