University of Illinois at Chicago
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Eco-friendly Lignin Nanofiber Mat for Protection of Wood against Attacks by Environmentally Hazardous Fungi

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posted on 2019-01-15, 00:00 authored by Joo-Hyun Hong, Seongpil An, Kyo Yong Song, Yong Il Kim, Alexander L Yarin, Jae-Jin Kim, Sam S. Yoon
There are multiple wood-attack fungi that deteriorate wood globally. Control of wood-attack fungi is costly and requires moisture sensors, application of different chemicals, and correct identification of the fungi. Wood-attack via fungi results in the loss of about one third of the annual timber (20 billion board feet) harvest. In particular, the environmentally hazardous fungal contamination of wood materials during shipping represents a serious threat to the biodiversity of native eco-systems with undesirable financial impacts. Thus far, various approaches have been attempted to prevent fungal invasion; however, the detrimental effect of fungal contamination on the environment and human health still remains as an issue to be resolved. Herein, we present an eco-friendly lignin-based nanofiber (NF) mat that effectively protects wood from fungi. Mat-covered wood specimens were fully protected against fungal infection over a two week incubation period. The NF mats with an inter-fiber pore size of several hundred nanometers impeded the penetration of fungi into the wood surfaces, thus preventing their growth in the wood. The experiment, which mimicked the real shipping process, demonstrated the excellent wood-protection ability of the eco-friendly lignin-based NF mat.


This research was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2016M1A2A2936760), NRF-2017R1A2B4005639, and Advanced Research Center Program (NRF-2013R1A5A1073861).



Hong, J. H., An, S., Song, K. Y., Kim, Y. I., Yarin, A. L., Kim, J. J., & Yoon, S. S. (2019). Eco-friendly lignin nanofiber mat for protection of wood against attacks by environmentally hazardous fungi. Polymer Testing, 74, 113-118. doi:10.1016/j.polymertesting.2018.12.023




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