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Wood Preservatives: Polarity and Natrural Alternatives

Wood preservatives range from pentachlorophenol, to creosote, to chromated copper arsenate etc. etc. While most of these compounds are intended to deter rot and fungal decay of the wood, they also exhibit a significant water repellent characteristic?

1) What is it about these compounds that repels water? It may have something to do with polar vs. non-polar but I continue to struggle with a simplistic understanding of polar and non-polar.

2) If I had a piece of raw wood and I wanted to make it more water repellent but without using any of the compounds above, what about materials such as linseed oil, soybean oil or something like these compounds? Could they repel water and how would they work? Would it be polar vs. non-polar again?

Are there any other environmentally-friendly compounds that could be applied to wood that would be considered at least partially water repellent?

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Wood preservatives range from pentachlorophenol, to creosote, to chromated copper arsenate etc. etc. While most of these compounds are intended to deter rot and fungal decay of the wood, they also exhibit a significant water repellant characteristic??

1) What is it about these compounds that repels water?? It may have something to do with polar vs. non-polar but I continue to struggle with a simplistic understanding of polar and non-polar.

I'm going to bet that it's definitely a polarity issue.
For example, PCP has a 0.020 g/L solubility in water http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentachlorophenol.

Here is a brief primer as regards polarity and water solubility. Bond polarity is a result of a difference in electronegativity between the elements in the bond. Electronegativity is quantified by the Pauling Electronegativity scale, but a rough idea regarding electronegativity can be gained by a simpler method. The most electronegative element is F, the least is Fr.

However, if you simply look at ...

Solution Summary

Polarity and natrural alternatives to wood preservatives are discussed in detail in the solution.

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