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PhD Capstone Seminar - "The Effect of Environmental Conditioning Upon Hydroxide Accessibility and Crystallinity of Native Wood Fibers"Campus Calendar

Monday, July 26, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: https://meet.google.com/mcr-dvcb-pkc

Event Description: The Effect of Environmental Conditioning Upon Hydroxide
Accessibility and Crystallinity of Native Wood Fibers
by
Richard List
Candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
July 2021

Abstract


The changes in the physical and chemical properties of native, green, never dried wood fibers were monitored as they were conditioned at set points of temperature and relative humidity. Three species were selected for this study; Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum, was selected as an example of a hard wood; Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus, was chosen as an example of soft wood; and Shrub Willow, Salix L., was chosen as an example of a wood biomass feedstock. Freshly harvested logs were cut and split, under water, into matchstick sized pieces. The sticks were macerated with acidic acid/H2O2 to produce the sample fiber stocks for the study. Samples were conditioned at set points of increasing temperature from 20 to 120 oC and set points of decreasing relative humidity from 70% to 30% relative humidity. Sample properties were assessed using FTIR spectroscopy, alkali solubility, and oxidative hydrolysis of samples to yield cellulose nano crystals. This study showed an increase in FTIR crystallinity index values as temperatures increased or relative humidity decrease. Alkaline solubility measurements (TAPPI T-235) showed an inverse correlation with FTIR crystallinity. This study outlines the patterns of change that occurs within in a wood fiber as it is heated or dried. It also demonstrates methods and procedures to measure wood fiber accessibility and crystallinity within cellulosic biomass under nature environmental conditions.


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