University of Oulu

Korkalo P, Hagner M, Jänis J, Mäkinen M, Kaseva J, Lassi U, Rasa K and Jyske T (2022) Pyroligneous Acids of Differently Pretreated Hybrid Aspen Biomass: Herbicide and Fungicide Performance. Front. Chem. 9:821806. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2021.821806

Pyroligneous acids of differently pretreated hybrid aspen biomass : herbicide and fungicide performance

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Author: Korkalo, Pasi1; Hagner, Marleena2,3; Jänis, Janne4;
Organizations: 1Production Systems, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Rovaniemi, Finland
2Natural Resources, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Jokioinen, Finland
3Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Chemistry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
5Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Production Systems, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Jokioinen, Finland
7Production Systems, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Espoo, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-20


The pyroligneous acids (PAs) of woody biomass produced by torrefaction have pesticidal properties. Thus, PAs are potential alternatives to synthetic plant protection chemicals. Although woody biomass is a renewable feedstock, its use must be efficient. The efficiency of biomass utilization can be improved by applying a cascading use principle. This study is novel because we evaluate for the first time the pesticidal potential of PAs derived from the bark of hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × Populus tremuloides Michx.) and examine simultaneously how the production of the PAs can be interlinked with the cascade processing of hybrid aspen biomass. Hybrid aspen bark contains valuable extractives that can be separated before the hemicellulose is thermochemically converted into plant protection chemicals. We developed a cascade processing scheme, where these extractives were first extracted from the bark with hot water (HWE) or with hot water and alkaline alcohol (HWE+AAE) prior to their conversion into PAs by torrefaction. The herbicidal performance of PAs was tested using Brassica rapa as the test species, and the fungicidal performance was proven using Fusarium culmorum. The pesticidal activities were compared to those of the PAs of debarked wood and of commercial pesticides. According to the results, extractives can be separated from the bark without overtly diminishing the weed and fungal growth inhibitor performance of the produced PAs. The HWE of the bark before its conversion into PAs appeared to have an enhancing effect on the herbicidal activity. In contrast, HWE+AAE lowered the growth inhibition performance of PAs against both the weeds and fungi. This study shows that hybrid aspen is a viable feedstock for the production of herbicidal and fungicidal active chemicals, and it is possible to utilize biomass according to the cascading use principle.

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Series: Frontiers in chemistry
ISSN: 2296-2646
ISSN-E: 2296-2646
ISSN-L: 2296-2646
Volume: 9
Article number: 821806
DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2021.821806
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Funding: This research was supported by the Finnish Natural Resources Research Foundation (grant no. 20210080) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (diary no. OKM/66/523/2018).
Copyright information: © 2022 Korkalo, Hagner, Jänis, Mäkinen, Kaseva, Lassi, Rasa and Jyske. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.