Effects of Air Relative Humidity and Temperature on Photodegradation Processes in Beech and Spruce Wood

Laszlo Tolvaj, Carmen-Mihaela Popescu, Zsolt Molnar, Edina Preklet


Spruce and beech samples were irradiated by UV light in humid (100% air humidity) and dry conditions to clarify the effects of vapor on photodegradation. UV-irradiated samples were also soaked in distilled water for comparison. The color change and the IR absorption spectra were measured. The wet condition generated considerably greater discoloration than did the dry condition. The intensity of the color change was higher at elevated temperature (53 °C) than at 32 °C. The results showed that the presence of water as vapor increased the degradation of lignin. The nonconjugated carbonyl groups absorbing around 1760 cm-1 were found not to be stable, and the number of these chemical groups decreased in the presence of vapor when compared against the dry condition. The rising temperature amplified this degradation effect.


Wood; Photodegradation; Air humidity; Color change

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