Wood−Water Relations Affected by Anhydride and Formaldehyde Modification of Wood

Muhammad Awais*, Michael Altgen, Tiina Belt, Venla Teräväinen, Mikko Mäkelä, Daniela Altgen, Martin Nopens, Lauri Rautkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The moisture uptake of wood is influenced by accessible hydroxyl groups acting as sorption sites and the water-available cell wall space. To what extent do these mechanisms control the moisture uptake in wood need to be addressed. For this purpose, we modified sorption site density and cell wall space by wood treatments with acetic anhydride or formaldehyde and investigated their effects on moisture uptake. Chemical changes at the cell wall level caused by the treatments were first determined by confocal Raman imaging. Following this, the deuterium exchange method was used to gravimetrically measure the hydroxyl accessibility, while the moisture uptake and the consequent swelling of the wood were determined by dynamic measurements of mass and dimensions within the hygroscopic range. The results showed that the effectiveness in reducing the moisture content of untreated wood across the hygroscopic range differed between the anhydride and formaldehyde-modified wood. We also observed a poor correlation of accessible hydroxyl concentration in formaldehyde-modified wood with weight percentage gain and water uptake. Moreover, the dynamic mass and dimensions analysis indicated that the reduction in swelling in formalized wood was affected by an unidentified mechanism in addition to reduced moisture content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42199-42207
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number46
Early online date8 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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