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Chemical modification of wood

Author(s):

Roger M. Rowell

Year:

2007

Publication type:

Miscellaneous Publication

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory

Source:

Handbook of engineering biopolymers, homopolymers, blends, and composites. Cincinnati, OH : Hanser Gardner Publications, Inc., 2007: Pages 673-691

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).

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

Publication Notes

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