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Time course of fungal removal of lipophilic extractives from Eucalyptus globulus Labill. wood

AuthorsMartínez Iñigo, María José; Gutiérrez Suárez, Ana ; Río Andrade, José Carlos del ; Martínez, María Jesús ; Martínez, Ángel T.
Eucalyptus globulus
Issue Date2000
CitationJournal of Biotechnology 84(2): 119–126 (2000)
AbstractFree and esterified sitosterol, the main lipophilic constituents of eucalypt wood extractives, have been associated with the formation of pitch deposits during manufacturing of environmentally-sound paper pulp from Eucalyptus globulus wood. These, and other lipophilic compounds, were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in the course of wood treatments (up to 7 weeks) with four extractive-degrading fungi in order to optimize biotechnological control of pitch deposition in eucalypt pulp (with moderate loss of wood weight). In contrast to commercialized fungi used in pitch control, which are not able to degrade sitosterol, the fungi investigated in this paper produced a rapid decline of both free and esterified sterols in wood. The degradation rate of steroid hydrocarbons and squalene was moderate, and the amount of steroid ketones (probably formed during oxidative degradation of steroids) and triglycerides increased at different stages of wood treatment. Up to 95% removal of total steroids (including free and esterified sterols, steroid ketones and steroid hydrocarbons) by fungi was obtained at the end of wood treatment under the solid-state fermentation conditions used. The most promising results from the point of view of industrial applicability, however, were obtained after 1–2 weeks of treatment with either Phlebia radiata or Poria subvermispora, which enabled 70% steroid removal with a moderate wood weight loss of 1–4%.
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