Review of Wood Modification and Wood Functionalization Technologies

Samuel L. Zelinka*, Michael Altgen, Lukas Emmerich, Nathanael Guigo, Tobias Keplinger, Maija Kymäläinen, Emil E. Thybring, Lisbeth G. Thygesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)


Wood modifications are becoming popular as a way to enhance the performance of wood, either to make it more durable, improve the performance of wood, or give it new functionality as a multifunctional or smart material. While wood modifications have been examined since the early 1900s, the topic has become a dominant area of study in wood science over the past decade. This review summarizes recent advances and provides future perspective on a selection of wood modifications, i.e., the methods that are currently commercialized (acetylation, furfurylation, and thermal modification), a rediscovered ancient practice (charring), a family of polymerization modifications that have so far made it to the pilot scale, and examples of novel wood-based functional materials explored at laboratory scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1004
Issue number7
Early online date26 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • acetylation
  • biodeterioration
  • chemical modification
  • furfurylation
  • thermal modification
  • wood decay
  • wood protection
  • wood-based functional materials


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