Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Microstructure change in wood cell wall fracture from mechanical pretreatment and its influence on enzymatic hydrolysis


Jinxue Jiang
Xiao Zhang
Michael Wolcott



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Industrial Crops and Products. 97: 498-508.


tMechanical pretreatment is an effective process for chemical or biochemical conversion of woodybiomass. The deconstruction features of the wood cell wall play an important role in its chemical or bio-chemical processing. In this work, we evaluated the wood cell wall fracture in the early stage of mechanicalpretreatment process conducted with various initial moisture contents. Electronic microscopy (i.e., SEMand TEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were used to visualize the cellular structurechanges due to cell wall fractures.Results reveal that the enzymatic digestibility of micronized wood produced from different initialmoisture contents was improved by 2–6 folder than that of the raw material. The types of cell wallfractures after mechanical pretreatment were distinguished by the initial moisture contents of wood. Inwood samples with lower moisture content, interwall fracture occurred predominantly at the middlelamella region, while intrawall fracture occurred primarily at inner cell wall layers, with sever breakagein wood fibers for high moisture content samples. Differences in the distribution of surface chemicalcomposition also resulted from different cell wall fractures. Lignin preferentially covered the fracturesurface of low-moisture content samples, while carbohydrates were more predominate in high-moisturecontent samples. These morphological and structural alternation contributed to improving enzymaticdigestibility of micronized wood.Findings from this study demonstrate how mechanical pretreatment modifies the fracture features ofwood cell wall for further chemical/biochemical reactions.


Jiang, Jinxue; Wang, Jinwu; Zhang, Xiao; Wolcott, Michael. 2017. Microstructure change in wood cell wall fracture from mechanical pretreatment and its influence on enzymatic hydrolysis. Industrial Crops and Products. 97: 498-508.


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.