Thermogravimetric Analysis Studies of Thermally-treated Glycerol Impregnated Poplar Wood

Rui Liu, Jeffrey J. Morrell, Li Yan


The effects of glycerol pretreatment and thermal modification on poplar wood was examined using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The total mass losses of thermally-treated samples before and after glycerol impregnation were studied. The thermal degradation process was divided into three stages based on natural breaks in the slope of the TGA curves. The set-on and set-off temperatures, mass loss, and activation energy (Ea) of each stage were compared. Pretreatment with 60% glycerol followed by thermal modification at 160 °C produced pronounced differences in the three decomposition stages. Fewer wood components were decomposed in the first stage in glycerol-pretreated wood, which suggested that the pretreatment had modified the wood components into more thermally stable substances. However, the mass losses were higher in the next stage, suggesting that the effect on thermal stability was limited. The Ea values of wood decomposition during the first stage were decreased, while those during the second and third stages were increased. These results illustrate the potential for using a glycerol pretreatment to alter the thermal stability of wood.


Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA); Glycerol impregnation; Thermal treatment; Kinetic analysis

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