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

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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.


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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

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Key words

  • Wood charcoal
  • Chemical structure
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • X-ray
  • Carbonization