Improving Dimensional and Thermal Stability of Poplar Wood via Aluminum-based Sol-Gel and Furfurylation Combination Treatment

Xin Gao, Youming Dong, Kaili Wang, Zhuoran Chen, Yutao Yan, Jianzhang Li, Shifeng Zhang


Wood modification is an efficient method to improve wood performance and expand the applications of wood material. In this study, a combination modification method of aluminum sol-gel and furfurylation was developed to improve the performance of poplar wood. Wood samples were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The properties of the treated wood, including thermal stability, water uptake, dimensional stability, and dynamic wettability were also evaluated. The thermogravimetric analysis results indicated that the incorporation of an aluminum-based gel could prevent furfurylated wood from thermal degradation by converting the gel into nano-Al2O3. The aluminum-based sol-gel apparently hindered furfuryl alcohol polymerization and reduced the weight percent gain of the samples; the anti-swelling efficiency of the treated wood was over 57% (with little decrease) due to crosslinking between the wood and aluminum-based gel. The water uptake and hydrophobicity of the modified samples were improved significantly in comparison to the control samples.


Poplar wood; Furfurylation; Aluminum sol-gel; Dimensional stability; Thermal stability

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126