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HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 14 no. 1 (2015)

Determining the Potential of Colorimetry in Wood Identification

Willie P. Abasolo | Monica Gibe

Discipline: Ecology



Proper wood identification is the first step in allocating the appropriate utility of the wood species. This is a difficult task for it requires skills gained from a number of years of experience. To come up of with a simple, easy but reliable wood identification technique for unknown wood samples, the study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using colorimetry in identifying different wood species. Solvents used to obtain the wood dye extracts were hot water and ethanol. Light absorbance of the solution was measured using a colorimeter with three (3) light wavelengths particularly 468nm, 520nm and 650nm. Maximum light absorbance of the wood extracts varied significantly among wood samples. This showed that colorimeter readings were able to differentiate one wood sample from the other. Among the three wavelengths, 468 nm was the most successful in segregating the wood samples regardless of the solvent used. Although alcohol gave higher absorbance values, using water as a solvent provided a much clearer separation between absorbance values. Hence, hot water should be used instead of alcohol. Besides being readily available, it is safer to handle and much cheaper than alcohol.