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Furfurylation result of Radiata pine depends on the solvent

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Abstract

Furfurylation is a modification technique that improves many wood properties. The wood is first impregnated with furfuryl alcohol (FA) diluted in a solvent, and afterward the impregnated wood is cured, during which time a FA derived polymer is formed within the wood cell wall and to some extent also within the cell lumina. In this study, the effect of the solvent used during the impregnation step of the process on the distribution of the FA polymer within the wood structure was investigated for Radiata pine (Pinus radiata). It was found that impregnation carried out using isopropanol rather than water as solvent resulted in more filled earlywood tracheid lumina, albeit this result may be confounded by a concomitant difference in weight percent gain. It was hypothesized that the degree of earlywood lumen filling affects the durability of furufrylated wood in marine settings via an effect on the hardness on the microscale as perceived by gribble (Limnoriidae) and by shipworm (Teredinidae) larvae when they settle on wood.

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Acknowledgements

The study was carried out with financial support from the Norwegian Research Council (Grant No. 219294/O30) to the Project Wood-polymer composites for use in marine environments and from the Regional Norwegian Research Council for the Oslo Fjord region (Grant No. 268707) to the Project Alcohol-based process for wood furfurylation. LGT thanks Professor Thomas Günther-Pomorski at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences for access to fluorescence spectroscopy. AP gratefully acknowledge financial support from The Swedish Research Council Formas 213-2011-1481 and 942-2015-530.

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Correspondence to L. G. Thygesen.

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Thygesen, L.G., Ehmcke, G., Barsberg, S. et al. Furfurylation result of Radiata pine depends on the solvent. Wood Sci Technol 54, 929–942 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-020-01194-1

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