Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Contamination of wooden framing structures with semivolatile organic chemicals is a common occurrence from the spillage of chemicals, such as impregnation with fuel oil hydrocarbons during floods. Little information is available to understand the penetration of fuel oil hydrocarbons into wood under ambient conditions. To imitate flood and storage scenarios, the sorption of n-hexadecane (representing fuel oil hydrocarbons) and water by southern yellow pine was studied using gravimetric techniques at ambient temperature and pressure. The sorption curves obtained had three distinct regions, reflecting three different sorption phases. Lower sorption coefficients were obtained for nonpolar n-hexadecane than for water, leading to n-hexadecane maximum mass uptake values being half those of water. Lower penetration values were obtained for epoxy-coated wood compared with uncoated wood, apparently because of the inaccessibility of diffusion paths along the wood lateral surface and slower air removal from tracheids. Two models were introduced to fit the observed sorption curves into a single algebraic equation, a diffusion (Fickian) model and an empirical (non-Fickian) equation. Effective diffusion coefficients were determined under the Fickian model, resulting in ca. 107 m2/s, 108 m2/s, and 1010 to 1011 m2/s diffusion rates for sorption in Phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The proposed non-Fickian model was based on firstorder kinetic constants for the second sorption phase and fit the experimental data throughout all three phases. The two models were shown to corroborate each other by demonstrating that the effective surface areas of wood blocks calculated using both models’ parameters were consistent with the corresponding expected physical values.

    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.


    Baglayeva, Ganna; Krishnamoorthy, Gautham; Frihart, Charles R.; Seamus, Wayne S.; O’Dell, Jane; Kozliak, Evguenii. 2016. Modeling of n-hexadecane and water sorption in wood. Forest Products Journal. 66(7/8): 401-412.


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page