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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Chemical modification of wood by anhydrides without solvents or catalysts


Acetylated, propionylated, butyrylated, isobutyrylated, and hexanoylated woods were prepared at several temperatures. The reaction rate, dimensional stability, and changes in the ratios of specific gravity and dimensions in the tangential and radial directions were estimated. The reaction rate of propionylation was slow at temperatures under 90°C but increased with the temperature. The butyrylated, isobutyrylated, and hexanoylated woods showed little or no weight percent gain (WPG) and little or no antiswelling efficiency (ASE) below 110°C even for 24h, but they achieved significant WPG and ASE values at 140°C with a longer reaction time. The acetylated, propionylated, and butyrylated woods showed almost the same values for dimensional stabilization efficiency based on WPG (DSE). The specific gravity and dimensions ratios for acetylated, propionylated, and butyrylated woods compared to those of untreated wood increased with an increase in WPG.


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Li, J., Furuno, T., Katoh, S. et al. Chemical modification of wood by anhydrides without solvents or catalysts. J Wood Sci 46, 215–221 (2000).

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Key words

  • Wood
  • Acetylation
  • Propionylation
  • Butyrylation
  • Dimensional stabilization efficiency