Chemical reactions involved in furfurylation of solid wood - An investigation by ATR-IR spectroscopy
T Mark Venås, L Garbrecht Thygesen, S Barsberg
Wood modification with furfuryl alcohol (FA) has gained renewed interest during the last five to ten years because of advances in process technology and because of increased focus on the environmental hazards of traditional wood impregnation. The reaction mechanisms involved in the furfurylation process are not yet understood in detail. In the work presented here, the chemical reactions and their end products in the wood cell wall were studied using Attenuated Total Reflection InfraRed spectroscopy (ATR-IR) and knowledge from molecular modelling. Evidence of a polymeric structure of FA in the cell wall was found, but bonding between wood constituents and FA or a FA-polymer could not be verified. Because of many overlapping absorbance peaks in the IR region, wood and FA absorbance bands are difficult to assign without support from extensive molecular modelling. Further modelling is needed to fully understand the possible reactions between wood and FA.