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Title: The effect of acetylation on iron uptake and diffusion in water saturated wood cell walls and implications for decay

Source: Forests. 11(10): 1121. 12 p.

Author(s)Zelinka, Samuel ; Houtman, Carl J.; Hirth, Kolby ; Lacher, Steven ; Lorenz, Linda ; Engelund Thybring, Emil ; Hunt, Christopher G.

Publication Year: 2020  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4707-2C   FPL-4709-1C   FPL-4716-3A

Abstract: Acetylation is widely used as a wood modifcation process that protects wood from fungal decay. The mechanisms by which acetylation protects wood are not fully understood. With these experiments, we expand upon the literature and test whether previously observed differences in iron uptake by wood were a result of decreased iron binding capacity or slower diffusion. We measured the concentration of iron in 2 mm thick wood sections at 0, 10, and 20% acetylation as a function of time after exposure to iron solutions. The iron was introduced either strongly chelated with oxalate or weakly chelated with acetate. The concentrations of iron and oxalate in solution were chosen to be similar to those found during brown rot decay, while the concentration of iron and acetate matched previous work. The iron content of oxalate-exposed wood increased only slightly and was complete within an hour, suggesting little absorption and fast diffusion, or only slight surface adsorption. The increase in iron concentration from acetate solutions with time was consistent with Fickian diffusion, with a diffusion coefficient on the order of 10 −1 −16 m2 s-1 . The rather slow diffusion rate was likely due to signifcant binding of iron within the wood cell wall. The diffusion coefficient did not depend on the acetylation level; however, the capacity for iron absorption from acetate solution was greatly reduced in the acetylated wood, likely due to the loss of OH groups. We explored several hypotheses that might explain why the diffusion rate appears to be independent of the acetylation level and found none of them convincing. Implications for brown rot decay mechanisms and future research are discussed.

Keywords: Acetylation; wood modifcation; diffusion; brown rot decay; iron

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 3,072 kb(s)

Date posted: 11/23/2020

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 10067
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Houtman, Carl J.
Chemical Engineer
Hunt, Christopher G.
Research Chemist
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer

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