May 2013: Dolphin Bay chemist Navintherin Moodley is hard at work in our laboratory developing the new procedures for manufacturing Permacure ACQ for the South African market.
Permacure ACQ, or Alkaline Copper Quaternary, is a water-based wood preservative that is widely used in the United States, some European countries, Japan and Australia, where some industry players believe it is a more environmentally friendly alternative than the more established wood preservatives.
Dolphin Bay is the registration holder for Permacure ACQ with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa, and our Permacure ACQ complies with SANS 506 and SANS 10005.
Navi is fine-turning working procedures that will be used by timber treatment plants to ensure the optimum retention of the chemical in wood, with the help of our two interns, Megan Engels and Simphiwe Skoti.
Royal blue in colour, Permacure ACQ has two active ingredients: copper, which acts as a fungicide and to some degree an insecticide, and a quaternary compound — a term for an ammonium salt combined with another compound — which is an insecticide. Together, these two ingredients give an extremely high level of protection against wood-destroying fungi, insect larvae and termites.
Permacure ACQ can be used for wood in hazard classes H2 – H5. The highest hazard class, H5, applies to wood that touches the ground or is exposed to moisture or wet soil.
“Permacure ACQ has every little odour and leaves a greenish stain on wood, which is very similar to that from CCA,” says Navi. “Over time, the colour fades to a light greenish brown.
“As a chemist, I’ve found it extremely interesting coming up with the various methods and testing them on various wood samples, making a host of careful adjustments.
“Of course, it is also a very laborious and time-consuming process, but we know what our goal is, and we are well on our way to reaching it.
“Watch this space,” he adds.