Eyoum under the microscope

Scientists from Gembloux Agro-Bio tech and the University of Science and Technology of Masuku discover a new species, while studying the characteristics of Eyoum.

Robin Doucet and Gaël Bibang Bengono, with their collaborators, have examined numerous Eyoum trees (species belonging to the botanical genus Dialium, also known as omvong) in the CEB-Precious Woods concession in Gabon. The first is working on the valorization of lesser known timberspecies in Central Africa by combining wood technology, ecology and chemistry with the aim of proposing long-term exploitation schemes. The second is studying the biochemical properties of wood and bark extracts of different Eyoum species in order to identify molecules useful in the fight against malaria. The work of these two doctoral students is part of the EHPval project, funded by the PPECF, which aims to identify LKTS with high potential for valorization.

By combining different disciplines (botany, wood chemistry, statistics, etc.), the researchers suggest the existence of a new species of Dialium. Although morphologically close to the others, it can be differentiated using an identification key developed by the researchers.

Numerous differences in the composition of the wood that can impact their industrial transformation have been identified. Indeed, the new species is distinguished by a higher tannin content and a silica content up to two times higher. Although this is an asset for its natural durability, it affects its sawing and therefore its transformation yields. These variations illustrate the need to distinguish these species in order to optimize the management of their populations and improve processing yields.

For now, the results of a study on the physical, mechanical and natural durability properties of the different Eyoum species are being processed. At the same time, trials of the new species have just begun for the development of an unusual brewery in Gembloux.

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