This study investigates the effect of the relative proportion of copper oxide (CuO) to didecyl dimethyl ammonium carbonate (DDACb) in an alkaline copper quat (ACQ) formulation on the rate of copper fixation or stabilization and the resistance of treated wood to leaching of copper and quat (DDACb) for different ACQ retentions in wood. Red pine, jack pine, and black spruce samples were treated with ACQ at concentrations of 0.6, 1, and 1.5 percent with CuO to DDACb ratios of 2:1 (the usual ratio for ACQ-D), 1:1, and 1:2. Red pine samples posttreated at 50°C were evaluated for rate of fixation by the expressate method. Conditioned samples of the three species were evaluated for the leaching of copper, and DDACb (red pine). At similar ACQ retentions, a decrease in proportion of copper in the formulation resulted in a substantial reduction in the time required for copper fixation. There was a significant decrease in the amount of copper leached for all three species studied with reduction of proportion of copper in the ACQ formulation. Improved fixation time and reduced copper leaching resulted from the lower copper retentions in the samples with lower relative proportions of copper in the formulations. The reduction in leaching was higher for samples treated with concentrations of 1 and 1.5 percent ACQ. The formulation having a 1:1 CuO to DDACb ratio appears to be the most promising, considering the positive effects of reduced copper ratio on copper leaching and fixation time and the minimal effect on DDAC leaching.

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Author notes

The authors are, respectively, PhD Candidate, Professor, and Research Associate, Faculty of Forestry, Univ. of Toronto, Toronto (,, tony.ung@; and Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management, Faculty of Agric. Sci., Univ. of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria ( This paper was received for publication in January 2009. Article no. 10567.

*Forest Products Society member.