EFFECT OF PRE-STEAMING ON MASS TRANSFER PROPERTIES OF FIR WOOD (ABIES ALBA L.); A GYMNOSPERM SPECIES WITH TORUS MARGO PIT MEMBRANE

Hadi Dashti, Asghar Tarmian, Mehdi Faezipour, Sahab Hedjazi, Mahdi Shahverdi

Abstract


In this research, the effect of pre-steaming on mass transfer properties, including air permeability and water vapor diffusivity of fir wood (Abies alba L.), a gymnosperm species with torus margo pit membrane, was evaluated. The pre-steaming was performed at temperatures of 120, 140, and 160°C for 1 hour under a pressure of 2-3 bars. Then, the pre-steamed specimens were conventionally dried at a constant temperature of 160°C and a relative humidity of 50% to the final moisture content of 10%. Subsequently, the mass transfer properties of the dried specimens were measured in longitudinal and radial directions. Overall, the pre-steaming was found to be an effective modification method to improve the mass transfer properties of Abies alba L. The improvement was more remarkable for the air permeability as well as through the radial direction. The specimens steamed at the temperature of 160°C had higher mass transfer rates than those steamed at the temperatures of 120 and 140°C. Results of chemical analyses, FT-IR spectroscopy, and SEM imaging provide some explanations for the effects of pre-steaming.

Keywords


Air permeability; Fir wood; Pre-steaming; Water vapor diffusivity

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