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Title: The role of particle size of particulate nano-zinc oxide wood preservatives on termite mortality and leach resistance

Author: Clausen, Carol; Kartal, Nami S.; Arango, Rachel; Green, Frederick;

Date: 2011

Source: Nanoscale research letters. Vol. 6 (15 June 2011): 427 [5] p. Correction: Nanoscale Research Letters. Vol. 6 (22 July 2011): 465 [1] p.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Note that the chemical retention calculations in Table 1 of the original publication have been corrected. Click here to view the PDF version of chemical retention calculations corrected in Table 1. Historically most residential wood preservatives were aqueous soluble metal formulations, but recently metals ground to submicron size and dispersed in water to give particulate formulations have gained importance. In this study, the specific role nano-zinc oxide (ZnO) particle size and leach resistance plays in termite mortality resulting from exposure to particulate ZnO-treated wood was investigated. Southern yellow pine (SYP) sapwood impregnated with three concentrations of two particle sizes (30 and 70 nm) of ZnO were compared to wood treated with soluble zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) preservative for leach resistance and termite resistance. Less than four percent leached from the particulate nano-ZnO-treated specimens, while 13 to 25% of the zinc sulphate leached from the soluble treated wood. Nano-ZnO was essentially non-leachable from wood treated with 5% formulation for the 30-nm particle size. In a no-choice laboratory test, eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) consumed less than 10% of the leached nano-ZnO-treated wood with 93 to 100% mortality in all treatment concentrations. In contrast, termites consumed 10 to 12% of the leached ZnSO4-treated wood, but with lower mortality: 29% in the 1% treatment group and less than 10% (5 and 8%, respectively) in the group of wood blocks treated with 2.5 and 5.0% ZnSO4. We conclude that termites were repelled from consuming wood treated with nano-ZnO, but when consumed it was more toxic to eastern subterranean termites than wood treated with the soluble metal oxide formulation. There were no differences in leaching or termite mortality between the two particle sizes of nano-ZnO.

Keywords: Zinc oxide, nanoparticles, nanostructured materials, nanotechnology, wood deterioration, metallic oxides, leaching, wood preservation, preserved wood, wood preservatives, Reticulitermes flavipes, termites, insect pests, insect control, insecticides, wood biodegradation, biodegradation, Southern pines, mortality, sapwood, treated wood, preservatives, resistance to decay, wood decay, impregnation, preservative treated wood, nanometals, termite control, preservation, decomposition of wood, Southern yellow pine, biocides, particle size, wood block tests

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Clausen, Carol A.; Kartal, Nami S.; Arango, Rachel A.; Green, Frederick; 2011. The role of particle size of particulate nano-zinc oxide wood preservatives on termite mortality and leach resistance. Nanoscale research letters. Vol. 6 (June 2011): [5] p.


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