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Educational Programs and Outreach

Naperville Central High School ESRP 2019

Copper Oxidation States Found in Wood Preservatives and their Relationship to Corrosion Factors


  • Students:
    • Abhinav Bawankule
    • Nayva Bellamkonda
    • Ria Jha
    • Michelle Kee
    • Saagar Moradia
    • Ganesan Narayanan
    • Ammaar Saeed
    • Andrew Zhang
    • Kathy Zheng
  • Teachers:
    • Katherine Seguino
  • Mentors:
    • Grant Kirker (United States Forest Service)
    • George Sterbinsky (Argonne National Laboratory, Sector 9-BM)
    • Samuel Zelinka (United States Forest Service)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 9: Spectroscopy Group

Wood preservatives containing metals are widely used for wood protection in residential construction. Preservative systems typically contain copper in various forms paired with organic co-biocides. Past research has indicated that the predominant form of copper found in preservative treated wood is Cu+2, but recent x-ray absorption experiments of wood in contact with aged corroded fasteners indicate Cu+1 is the predominant form within the cell wall. There are distinct differences between Cu+1 and Cu+2 with respect to their solubility and biological activity against microbes. The goals of these experiments are to characterize Cu valence states in various commercially available wood preservative treatment formulations in order to fill a long standing knowledge gap and establish an improved conceptual model for both wood preservative metal speciation and the initiation of wood decay.

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