Chemical and thermal characterization of the construction material of nests of seven species of wasps from Norte de Santander - Colombia
Social wasps are insects that construct their nests using wood pulp, plant and themselves secretions for the accomplishment of their activities as a colony. Currently in Colombia, there is little knowledge about this interesting material due to its characteristics, which could be used in promising applications. In this work the chemical and thermal characterization of nests of seven species of wasps (Agelaia pallipes, Agelaia multipicta, Agelaia areata, Polybia aequatorialis, Parachartergus
... Parachartergus apicalis, Mischucytharus imitator, Brachygastra lecheguana) living in Norte de Santander, was carried out with the purpose of establishing if there are significant differences between species and provide information that could be used as a model or precursors for the synthesis in biomimetics and / or nanotechnology. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were performed using a Thermal analyser SDT-Q600 from T.A. Instruments. An infrared spectrophotometer FT-IR SHIMADZU Prestige-21 with ATR was used for infrared analysis. The fluorescence analysis (XRF) was performed using a sequential X-ray fluorescence spectrometer of dispersive wavelength of 4kW BRUKER model S8 TIGER. The thermogravimetric analysis shows three mass losses and four degradation processes related to moisture loss, degradation of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. The infrared analysis allowed identifying characteristic functional groups of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Through the X-ray fluorescence analysis, some metals such as K, Ca, Al, Mg, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se and Li were found. The analyses made of the samples allowed to establish differences and similarities in the construction material of the studied species.