Effectiveness of pyroligneous acids from vapour released in charcoal industry against biodegradable agent under laboratory condition

S. H. Lee, P. S. H'ng, M. J. Chow, A. S. Sajap, B. T. Tey, U. Salmiah, Y. L. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic biomass natural and abundantly available resource has been steadily gaining attention from relevant industries as feedstock for the production of chemicals, fuels and biocompatible materials due to increased concern in economic and environmental issues. The potential of being converted into usable chemicals which pyroligneous acids is one of the chemicals from the distillation of smoke generated during charcoal making. It was found to be potential use as bio-preservative due to the complexity of its chemical compounds. In Northern Malaysia, there are 336 charcoal making kilns, with a total production of around 3,500 tonnes of charcoal and sales of about RM3 million (USD808, 300) per month. Thus, chemicals recovery from the vapours released during charcoal making could lead to a flourishing industry. This study focuses on development of pyroligneous acid as bio-preservative against wood biodegradable agents. Pyroligneous acids derived from Rhizophora and Bambusa at 300-400°C. The chemical compounds were then analysed using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR). For the efficacy of pyroligneous acid test, rubberwood test block was immersed in pyroligneous acid for 24 h at room temperature. Treated rubberwood test block were later tested against mold (Penicillium sp.), white rot fungus (Pycnoporous sanguineus) and subterranean termites (Coptotermes curvignathus) according to ASTM standard methods. Results showed that pyroligneous acids treated test blocks were effective against mold for the surface coverage area and white rot decay in the weight loss but not effective against termiticidal activity. It was concluded that pyroligneous acid could be used as fungicide but not as insecticide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3848-3853
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Decay fungi
  • Mold fungi
  • Pyroligneous acid
  • Rhizophora
  • Termites

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