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    Author(s): Roger M. Rowell
    Date: 2007
    Source: Handbook of engineering biopolymers, homopolymers, blends, and composites. Cincinnati, OH : Hanser Gardner Publications, Inc., 2007: Pages 673-691
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (279 KB)

    Description

    After millions of years of evolution, wood was designed to perform in a wet environment, and nature is programmed to recycle it, in a timely way, back to the basic building blocks of carbon dioxide and water through biological, thermal, aqueous, photochemical, chemical, and mechanical degradation. The properties of wood are, for the most part, a result of the chemistry of its cell wall components. The polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicelluloses) are mainly responsible for (i) moisture uptake and release in changing environments that result in changes in wood volume (dimensional instability), (ii) recognition mechanism for biological degradation (attack by fungi, termites, etc.), (iii) thermal instability (pyrolysis and burning), (iv) chemical degradation (by acids and bases), and, to some degree, (v) degradation due to ultraviolet radiation (weathering, lignin degradation).

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Rowell, Roger M. 2007. Chemical modification of wood. Handbook of engineering biopolymers, homopolymers, blends, and composites. Cincinnati, OH : Hanser Gardner Publications, Inc., 2007: Pages 673-691

    Keywords

    wood decaying fungi, wood moisture, plant cell walls, mechanical properties, chemical reactions, biodegradation, chemistry, acetylation, preservation, acetic anhydride, resistance to decay, acetylated wood, modified wood, biodegradation, chemical modification of wood, modified wood, deterioration

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/30669