Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Measurement of moisture-dependent ion diffusion constants in wood cell wall layers using time-lapse micro X-ray fluorescence microscopy

Source: Scientific Reports. 10(1): 484. 15 p.

Author(s)Jakes, Joseph E.; Zelinka, Samuel L.; Hunt, Christopher G.; Ciesielski, Peter ; Frihart, Charles R.; Yelle, Daniel ; Passarini, Leandro ; Gleber, Sophie-Charlotte ; Vine, David ; Vogt, Stefan

Publication Year: 2020  View PDF »

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

Abstract: Our future bioeconomy depends on increased utilization of renewable lignocellulosic biomass. Controlling the diffusion of chemicals, such as inorganic ions, within secondary plant cell walls is central to many biomass applications. However, insufficient understanding of intra-cell-wall diffusion within secondary plant cell walls is hindering the advancement of many lignocellulosic biomass applications. In this work, X-ray fluorescence microscopy was used to measure diffusion constants of K+, cu2+, and Cl− diffusing through loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) cell wall layers under 70%, 75%, or 80% relative humidity (RH). Results revealed that diffusion constants increased with RH, the larger Cu2+ diffused more slowly than the K+, and the Cl diffusion constant was the same as that for the counter cation, indicating cations and anions diffused together to maintain charge neutrality. Comparison with electrical conductivity measurements showed that conductivity is being controlled by ion mobility over these RH. The results further support that intra-cell-wall diffusion of inorganic ions is a Fickian diffusion process occurring through rubbery amorphous polysaccharides, which contradicts previous assertions that intra-cell-wall diffusion is an aqueous process occurring through water pathways. Researchers can now utilize polymer science approaches to engineer the molecular architecture of lignocellulosic biomass to optimize properties for specific end uses.

Keywords: Diffusion; wood; X-ray fluorescence microscopy; ionic conductivity

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 2,048 kb(s)

Date posted: 08/21/2020

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 98644
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Frihart, Charles R.
Research Chemist
Hunt, Christopher G.
Research Chemist
Jakes, Joseph
Research Materials Engineer
Yelle, Daniel
Research Forest Products Technologist
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »