Effect of Moisture on Polymer Deconstruction in HCl Gas Hydrolysis of Wood

Tainise Lourençon, Michael Altgen*, Timo Pääkkönen, Valentina Guccini, Paavo Penttilä*, Eero Kontturi, Lauri Rautkari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The HCl gas system previously used to produce cellulose nanocrystals was applied on Scots pine wood, aiming at a controlled deconstruction of its macrostructure while understanding the effect on its microstructure. The HCl gas treatments resulted in a well-preserved cellular structure of the wood. Differences in wood initial moisture content (iMC) prior to HCl gas treatment played a key role in hydrolysis rather than the studied range of exposure time to the acidic gas. Higher iMCs were correlated with a higher degradation of hemicellulose, while crystalline cellulose microfibrils were not largely affected by the treatments. Remarkably, the hydrogen-deuterium exchange technique showed an increase in accessible OH group concentration at higher iMCs, despite the additional loss in hemicelluloses. Unrelated to changes in the accessible OH group concentration, the HCl gas treatment reduced the concentration of absorbed D2O molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7074–7083
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
Early online date16 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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