Selected Chemical and Physical Properties of Pine Wood Chips Inoculated with Aspergillus and Penicillium Mold Fungi
Research subject and fields:
Mold fungi representing genera of Penicillium and Aspergillus commonly develop on the surface of freshly harvested wood chips during storage. As a result, they are often considered as low-quality material and intended for incineration. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of wood chips infestation with mold fungi representing genera of Aspergillus and Penicillium on their basic chemical and physical properties, such as: chemical structure (evaluated with FTIR spectroscopy), mass loss and hygroscopicity, after an incubation of 3, 6 and 9 weeks. Based on the visual assessment and ergosterol content analysis, it was found that inoculation of wood chips with molds led to the intense fungal development on their surface. However, as observed in FTIR spectra, the presence of molds caused no changes in wood chemical structure. Furthermore, no mass loss and no significant increase in the hygroscopicity of wood were observed. Therefore, pine wood chips overgrown by studied genera of fungi seem to be a valuable material for various applications.