Wood, its benefits and versatility: Professor Dr Ismail Jusoh Inaugural lecture

Wednesday 15 March 2017, 08:00am – 05:00pm

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by hsarena

KOTA SAMARAHAN, 15th March 2017 – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)  hosted the 8th series of Inaugural Professorial Lectures and the first for this year, by Professor Dr. Ismail Jusoh at PITAS UNIMAS today.

This inaugural lecture is an overview of research findings that has been undertaken so far with the titled ‘ Wood : its benefits and versatility”

The lecture started with the question “What is wood?” Then he move on explaining the origin of wood, its content, what it is made of and the elemental composition of wood.

The next point discussed briefly was the forest resource base from which the wood come from.

Properties of wood varies significantly because of its biological origin. The fundamental structure of wood from molecular to anatomical level, determines the behavior of wood.

Another important property of wood discussed was natural durability of wood because it can determine its utility. Two laboratory natural durability evaluation discussed were soil block test and termite resistance test.

Although wood extractives are not crucial for tree growth, but they are responsible for its colour, smell, natural durability, physical and mechanical properties, dimensional stability and acoustic properties. A total of 141 and 112 compounds were detected in Eusideroxylon zwageri (Belian) and Potoxylon melagangai (malagangai) extractives, respectively. Among significant compounds detected include a-cadinol, g-muurolene, cadalene and myristicin.

Non-durable woods must be treated before they can be used for exterior applications. Common wood preservatives used is the broad spectrum wood preservatives chromated copper arsenate (CCA).  Due the increasing concern of arsenical content of CCA, new environmentally-friendly wood preservatives are needed.

Newly synthesized organotin(IV) complexes were tested for their efficacy as wood preservatives. Among the tested organotin(IV) compounds, dibutyltin [Bu2SnCl(APCT)] or in short DBT was found to provide the best protection against decay fungi.

The presentation also touched on the wood properties of two planted forest material namely Acacia hybrid and second-generation Acacia mangium (aka Acacia mangium superbulk). In terms of strength they are considered as weak, however they excellent raw material for pulp and paper production.

In planted forest, trees sequester atmospheric carbon through the annual increment in growth in their woody biomass, while leaves and other litter fall incorporated into soil carbon pool. It was estimated that 10-yr-old Acacia hybrid and second-generation Acacia mangium sequestered 19.5 and 30.8 tonnes/ha/yr of CO­­­2.

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