Biomimetic studies of wood decay: Simulating the effect of low molecular weight compounds and fungal enzymes
The effect of FeCl3, hydrogen peroxide, a low molecular weight compound, and oxalic acid on wood were tested in a study designed to mimic wood degradation by brown rot fungi. Previous studies suggest that these components are involved in the early stages of brown rot decay where they catalyze the formation of hydroxyl radicals through the Fenton reaction or related mechanisms. However, the separate and combined effects of these individual chemical components on wood have not been thoroughly investigated.
Tests were coducted in Erlenmeyer flasks containing 50 ml of 40mM acetate buffer (pH 4.5), white pine wood powder and varying combinations of the chemicals previously mentioned. Changes in cellulose crystallinity were analyzed by X-ray diffraction using 0-20 scan. Findings suggest that iron,H2O2, chelators andoxalic acid may affect over all crystallinity and crystallite size. Understanding how these chemicals modify over all crystallinity and crystallite size. Understanding how these chemicals modify wood will facilitate characterization of the mechanism involved in wood biodegradation by brown rot fungi.