Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 2698–2707 | Cite as

A Microscopic Study of Paper Decayed by Trichoderma harzianum and Paecilomyces variotii

  • Rushdya R. A. Hassan
  • Maisa M. A. Mansour
Original Paper


The current study is interested in evaluating the decay of cotton, Whatman and chemical pulp caused by Trichoderma harzianum and Paecilomyces variotii. The structural changes of the paper were evaluated by Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The SEM results show differences in hyphae colonization and paper decay patterns between studied species under the current study; P. variotii caused an eroded structure in the cotton (cavity forming), whereas the initial T. harzianum colonization produced rupture and erosion (soft-rot decay type II) for the three types of paper ,the gaps were elongated with sharp pointed ends, which consisted either of individual cavities or in chains. Moreover, FTIR results confirmed that there a relationship could be observed between fungal decay and crystalline cellulose content because the intensity of peaks at 1335 and 1111 cm−1 significantly decreased due to the fungal decay. Furthermore, the intensity of O–H stretching absorption slightly decreased, and this may be attributed to hydrolysis of cellulose molecules.


Hyphae Polysaccharides FTIR Hydrolysis Erosion 



The authors gratefully thank Dr. Ahmed Ramzy, Scanning Electron Microscope Laboratory, National Research Centre, Dokki - Giza - Egypt, for the technical assistance he provided.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Restoration and Conservation Department, Faculty of ArchaeologyCairo UniversityGizaEgypt

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