Skip to main content

Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Analysis of chemical structure of wood charcoal by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy


Wood charcoal carbonized at various temperatures was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffractometry to investigate the changes of chemical structures during the carbonization process. From the infrared spectra, the carbon double bonds and aromatic rings were seen to form at a carbonization temperature of about 600°C. From the XPS spectra, the ratio of aromatic carbons increased in the temperature range 800–1000°C and over 1800°C. The condensation of aromatic rings proceeded as carbonization progressed. The drastic reduction of electrical resistivity of charcoals was observed in almost the same temperature range. It was found that the condensation of aromatic rings had some relation to the decline in electrical resistivity. Wood charcoal carbonized at 1800°C was partly graphitized, a finding supported by the results of X-ray diffraction and XPS. The functional groups containing oxygen diminished with the increase in carbonization temperature.


  1. Ishihara S, Kawai S (1989) Carbon-material overlaid particleboard I (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 35:234–242

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ishihara S, Ide I, Nagasawa C, Kawai S (1993) Fire endurance and electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of carbon-based composites (in Japanese). J Soc Mat Sci Jpn 42:147–152

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Ide I, Ishihara S, Kawai S, Yoshida Y, Nakaji M, Takamatsu A (1992) Fire-resistant carbon-board materials II (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 38:777–785

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Ide I, Ishihara S, Higuchi N, Nishikawa M (1994) Carbon-based composites from bamboo charcoal and its applications (in Japanese). J Soc Mat Sci Jpn 43:152–157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Furutsuka T, Ishihara S (1996) Development of environmental control and purification material by the composites from charcoal and metal oxide (in Japanese). In: Abstracts of 46th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Kumamoto, April 3–5, p 477

  6. Pulido LL, Ishihara S, Kajimoto T, Ide I (1996) Development of environmental protection wood charcoal composites from toxic heavy metal. II. In: Abstracts of 46th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Kumamoto, April 3–5, p 476

  7. Yatagai M, Ito R, Ohira T, Oba K (1995) Effect of charcoal on purification of wastewater. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 41:425–432

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Ishihara S (1996) Recent trend of advanced carbon material from wood charcoals (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 42:717–724

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Nishimiya K, Hata T, Ishihara S (1994) Mechanism and clarification of electrical conduction through wood charcoal. Wood Res 82:33–35

    Google Scholar 

  10. Suzuki T, Nishizawa S (1990) Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (in Japanese). Tanso 141:45–55

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Darmstadt H, Roy C, Kailiaguine S (1994) ESCA characterization of commercial carbon blacks and of carbon blacks from vacuum pyrolysis of used tires. Carbon 32:1399–1406

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Desimoni E, Casella GI, Morone A, Salvi AM (1990) XPS determination of oxygen-containing functional groups on carbon-fibre surfaces and the cleaning of these surfaces. Surface Interface Anal 15:627–634

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Bacon R, Tang MM (1964) Carbonization of cellulose fibres. I. Carbon 2:211–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Owen NL, Thomas DW (1989) Infrared studies of hard and soft woods. Appl Spectrosc 43:451–455

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Ide I (1995) Properties of thermally-conversed wood and its applications (in Japanese). Doctoral thesis, Kyoto University, pp 8–62

  16. Van Krevelen DW (1961) Coal. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 111–126

    Google Scholar 

  17. Abe F, Kishimoto S, Unrinin G (1960) Studies on charcoal XI (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 6:188–193

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Kishimoto S, Kitsuta K (1969) Functional group and free radical on inner surface of charcoal (in Japanese). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 15:208–213

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Fukuda Y (1995) X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (in Japanese). In: Onishi T, Horiike Y, Yoshihara K (ed) Kotai hyoumen bunseki. I. Kodansya Scientific, Tokyo pp 68–69

    Google Scholar 

  20. Proctor A, Sherwood PMA (1982) X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic studies of carbon fibre surfaces. I. J Electron Spectrosc Relat Phenom 27:39–56

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Fukuda M, Mizogami S, Matsuoka R, Nogami K, Yoshino K (1989) Flexible carbonaceous and graphitized films by pyrolytic chemical-vapor-deposition method from hydrocarbons containing oxygen atoms. J Appl Phys 66:881–884

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Tanaka K (1994) Electron theory (in Japanese). Kyoritsu, Tokyo pp 49–73

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

This paper was presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society in Tokyo, April 1995 and at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society in Kochi, April 1997

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nishimiya, K., Hata, T., Imamura, Y. et al. Analysis of chemical structure of wood charcoal by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. J Wood Sci 44, 56–61 (1998).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words