Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Shmulsky, Rubin

Committee Member

Borazjani, Hamid

Committee Member

Jr., Ingram L. Leonard

Committee Member

To, Filip S.D.

Committee Member

Schultz, P. Tor

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Products

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


This work focused on decay and dimensional stability of southern pine lumber and environmental issues associated with emissions released during kiln drying of southern pine. In one study decking boards were treated with a 3% resin acid solution to increase the dimensional stability. The boards were placed on a roof and weathered for two years. The increased water repellency reduced moisture gain following summer rainstorms by one-third compared to untreated matched samples, this significantly reduced splitting by half and cupping by one-third. In one study decking boards from matched samples were weathered for two years in the roof setup described above, and in a fungal ground proximity test. The ground proximity samples had slightly more decay than the roof samples. Correlation between decay ratings for the matched samples was 37%, suggesting above-ground decay susceptibility is dependent on the macro- and micro-environment. Decay in roof exposure was modeled based on moisture content factors, whereas decay in ground proximity was modeled by the resin and fatty acids. One study tested pole sections with varying amounts of sapwood, heartwood, and knots dried in a pilot-scale kiln. A sample of the kiln exhaust was measured for volatile organic compounds. Emissions from poles were similar to clear lumber. Emissions from heartwood poles were less than for heartwood lumber, perhaps due to the poles’ sapwood band. The final study was conducted with clear and knotty lumber kiln dried to below 8% moisture content using three kiln schedules. Wood dried to this lower moisture content is used in interior applications or exported. During drying, a sample of the kiln exhaust was analyzed for total VOCs, and a sample of the kiln exhaust was collected and analyzed for hazardous air pollutants via gas chromatography and spectrophotometry. For all three kiln schedules, mills would reach 10 tons of methanol and thus must comply with maximum achievable control technology standards before reaching 25 tons of methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and propionaldehyde.