Dimensional Stability and Mechanical Properties of Plantation Poplar Wood Esterified Using Acetic Anhydride

Yubo Chai, Junliang Liu, Zhe Wang, Yong Zhao


Plantation poplar (Populus ussuriensis) wood was esterified using acetic anhydride without catalysts to improve its dimensional stability. The effects of acetylation temperature (100 °C, 120 °C, and 140 °C) on the dimensional stability, mechanical properties, microstructure, and functional groups of the resulting acetylated wood were systematically investigated. Results showed that the wood acetylated at 100 °C and 120 °C had an improved dimensional stability and comparable mechanical properties to those of the control wood. Wood acetylated at 140 °C had an improved dimensional stability and decreased mechanical properties as compared to those of the control wood. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analysis showed that the wood acetylated at 140 °C had obviously different microstructures than the control wood and the wood acetylated at 100 °C and 120 °C. The changes of functional groups in the acetylated wood were revealed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The –OH groups of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin all were shown to participate in the acetylation reaction.


Acetylation; Dimensional stability; Acetic anhydride; Plantation poplar wood

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