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Study of chemical modifications and fungi degradation of thermally modified wood using DRIFT spectroscopy

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A mild thermal treatment of wood leads to improved macroscopic properties (dimensional stabilization and resistance against fungal degradation). The chemical modifications induced by the thermal treatment were investigated by means of DRIFT spectroscopy on wood blocks in order to explain the new macroscopic properties on a molecular level. The formation of new ether linkage was observed in addition to the well-known acidic hydrolysis reactions of wood. Fungal attack was found to take place even after thermal degradation of pentosanes by a standard oxidative way. A competition between depolymerization and condensation reactions was observed.


Eine milde thermische Behandlung führt zu verbesserten makroskopischen Holzeigenschaften (Dimensionsstabilität und Pilzwiderstandsfähigkeit). Chemische Veränderungen von Holzstücken während der thermischen Behandlung wurden mit Hilfe von DRIFT Spektroskopie untersucht, um die neuen Eigenschaften auf molekularer Basis zu erklären. Die Entstehung neuer Etherbrücken sowie bekannte saure Hydrolysereaktionen von Holz wurden beobachtet. Obwohl die Pentosan-Moleküle nach der thermischen Behandlung abgebaut waren, konnte ein Pilzangriff auf normalem oxidativen Weg stattfinden. Eine Konkurrenz zwischen Depolymerisierungs- und Kondensationsreaktionen konnte beobachtet werden.

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Correspondence to R. Guyonnet.

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Weiland, J.J., Guyonnet, R. Study of chemical modifications and fungi degradation of thermally modified wood using DRIFT spectroscopy. Holz Roh Werkst 61, 216–220 (2003).

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