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    Author(s): Roger M. Rowell
    Date: 2006
    Source: Wood material science and engineering. Vol. 1 (2006): pages 29-33.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (221 KB)


    For most markets for wood, it is used without any treatments or modifications. When wood is used in adverse environments, it may be treated with chemicals to help prevent decay, improve water resistance, reduce the effects of ultraviolet radiation or increase fire retardancy. Many of these treatments involve the use of toxic or corrosive chemicals that can harm the environment. Chemical modification of wood provides an alternative by providing protection against water, decay, UV and thermal degradations by bonding chemicals to the cell wall polymers that do not leach out. Dimensional stability and decay resistance are two major properties that can be greatly improved by simple reactions with acetic anhydride.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Rowell, Roger M. 2006. Chemical modification of wood : a short review. Wood material science and engineering. Vol. 1 (2006): pages 29-33.


    Acetic anhydride, acetylation, chemical modification, decay, dimensional stability, equilibrium moisture content, fungal cellar, fungi, plant cell walls, wood-decaying fungi, wood moisture, wood chemistry, biodegradation, deterioration, chemical reactions, wood preservation, acetylated wood, resistance to decay, modified wood, chemical modification of wood, moisture content, preservation

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