Oil Uptake Percentage in Oil-Heat-Treated Wood, its Determination by Soxhlet Extraction, and its Effects on Wood Compression Strength Parallel to the Grain

Dali Cheng, Lijun Chen, Shenxue Jiang, Qisheng Zhang


Oil heat treatment can effectively improve the dimensional stability and bio-durability of wood. However, the characteristics of high oil uptake (50 percent or higher) and high susceptibility to leaching from wood have an adverse effect on subsequent manufacturing processes of wood product and production costs. A solvent extraction (100% ethanol) process was used to extract the surplus oil from the treated wood. Because the making of powder specimens from high oil uptake wood would result in experimental error, a new method of determination of oil uptake percentage was proposed by two step Soxhlet extraction with ethanol. The oil uptake percentage of oil-heat-treated poplar wood at 180 oC for 2 h with this method was determined to be 113.29%. Additionally, the average oil uptake percentage (OUP) of oil-treated poplar after the oil extraction process for 2 and 6 h was 54.82% and 29.11%, respectively. Moreover, the average oil extraction percentage (OEP) of specimens with the oil extraction process at the first step (wood sticks) in the Soxhlet extractor apparatus was larger than that of oil-heat-treated poplar specimens. Due to the combined effect of chemical changes in the wood at high temperatures and of oil uptake by the wood, the compression strength parallel to the grain changed at different OUP levels.


Poplar; Soxhlet extraction; Oil uptake percentage; Oil extraction percentage; Compression strength parallel to grain; Chemical analysis

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