University of Oulu

Applicability of crude tall oil for wood protection

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Author: Koski, Anna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2008
Publish Date: 2008-02-05
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Technology of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Auditorium TA105, Linnanmaa, on February 15th, 2008, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Doctor Hannu Boren
Associate Professor Nasko Terziev


Moisture content control is a very effective way of protecting timber. Treatments with environment-friendly, biodegradable tall oil are known to reduce the capillary water uptake of pine sapwood greatly, but despite the good results achieved there have been two problems that limit the use of tall oil for wood protection, the large amount of oil needed and the tendency for the oil to exude from the wood. This work was undertaken in order to obtain an understanding of the mechanism of wood protection by means of crude tall oil (CTO) and to find technical solutions to the main problems limiting its use for industrial wood protection.

It is shown that the emulsion technique is one way of solving the first problem, as it provides high water-repellent efficiency at considerably lower oil retention levels. The fact that water is used as a thinner in this technique instead of the commonly used organic solvents is beneficial from environmental, economic and safety points of view.

It is also shown that although the drying properties of CTO are inadequate for use as such in wood preservation, its oxidation and polymerization can be accelerated considerably by means of iron catalysts, which prevent the oil from exuding out of the wood. This also increases the water repellent efficiency of CTO treatment.

Most impregnation oils do not dry when applied in large quantities, because they hinder the diffusion of air through the wood, which supplies the necessary oxygen. Limiting of the oil uptake by the means of the emulsion technique disturbs the airflow to a lesser extent, and thus enhances the drying process. Hence, both the emulsion technique and the use of an iron catalyst improve both the water-repellent efficiency of tall oil treatment and the rate of drying of the oil, thus solving the two main problems related to wood impregnation with tall oil in one single-stage treatment which can be used in existing wood preservation plants. This is advantageous from both an industrial and an economic point of view.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 978-951-42-8723-7
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8722-0
Issue: 293
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2008. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.