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Print version ISSN 0104-7760
MOURA, Luiz Fernando de; BRITO, José Otávio and SILVA JUNIOR, Francides Gomes da. Effect of thermal treatment on the chemical characteristics of wood from Eucalyptus grandis W. Hill ex Maiden under different atmospheric conditions. CERNE [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.3, pp.449-455. ISSN 0104-7760. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-77602012000300012.
Thermal treatment (thermal rectification) is a process in which technological properties of wood are modified using thermal energy, the result of which is often value-added wood. Thermally treated wood takes on similar color shades to tropical woods and offers considerable resistance to destructive microorganisms and climate action, in addition to having high dimensional stability and low hygroscopicity. Wood samples of Eucalyptus grandis were subjected to various thermal treatments, as performed in presence (140ºC; 160ºC; 180ºC) or in absence of oxygen (160ºC; 180ºC; 200ºC) inside a thermal treatment chamber, and then studied as to their chemical characteristics. Increasing the maximum treatment temperatures led to a reduction in the holocellulose content of samples as a result of the degradation and volatilization of hemicelluloses, also leading to an increase in the relative lignin content. Except for glucose, all monosaccharide levels were found to decrease in samples after the thermal treatment at a maximum temperature of 200ºC. The thermal treatment above 160ºC led to increased levels of total extractives in the wood samples, probably ascribed to the emergence of low molecular weight substances as a result of thermal degradation. Overall, it was not possible to clearly determine the effect of presence or absence of oxygen in the air during thermal treatment on the chemical characteristics of the relevant wood samples.
Keywords : Heat treatment; wood chemistry; eucalyptus.