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Wood Colorization through Pressure Treating: The Potential of Extracted Colorants from Spalting Fungi as a Replacement for Woodworkers’ Aniline Dyes

Department of Wood Science & Engineering, 119 Richardson Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2014, 7(8), 5427-5437;
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Colorants 2014)
PDF [824 KB, uploaded 24 July 2014]


The extracellular colorants produced by Chlorociboria aeruginosa, Scytalidium cuboideum, and Scytalidium ganodermophthorum, three commonly utilized spalting fungi, were tested against a standard woodworker’s aniline dye to determine if the fungal colorants could be utilized in an effort to find a naturally occurring replacement for the synthetic dye. Fungal colorants were delivered in two methods within a pressure treater—the first through solubilization of extracted colorants in dichloromethane, and the second via liquid culture consisting of water, malt, and the actively growing fungus. Visual external evaluation of the wood test blocks showed complete surface coloration of all wood species with all colorants, with the exception of the green colorant (xylindein) from C. aeruginosa in liquid culture, which did not produce a visible surface color change. The highest changes in external color came from noble fir, lodgepole pine, port orford cedar and sugar maple with aniline dye, cottonwood with the yellow colorant in liquid culture, lodgepole pine with the red colorant in liquid culture, red alder and Oregon maple with the green colorant in dichloromethane, and sugar maple and port orford cedar with the yellow colorant in dichloromethane. The aniline dye was superior to the fungal colorants in terms of internal coloration, although none of the tested compounds were able to completely visually color the inside of the test blocks. View Full-Text
Keywords: aniline dye; Chlorociboria spp.; Scytalidium spp.; spalting aniline dye; Chlorociboria spp.; Scytalidium spp.; spalting

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Robinson, S.C.; Hinsch, E.; Weber, G.; Leipus, K.; Cerney, D. Wood Colorization through Pressure Treating: The Potential of Extracted Colorants from Spalting Fungi as a Replacement for Woodworkers’ Aniline Dyes. Materials 2014, 7, 5427-5437.

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