Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Monitoring of the Diffusion Process of Deuterium-Labeled Molecules in Wood. Part I: Softwood

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The diffusion process of several molecules (D2O, n-butanol (OD) and t-butanol (OD)) in softwood (Sitka spruce) was investigated by means of a deuterium exchange method and Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) polarization spectroscopy. The location of OH groups in different states of order of cellulose in wood was clarified by analyzing the FT-NIR transmission spectra ranging from 7200 to 6000 cm-1. Four absorption bands were assigned to 2 × ν(OH) absorptions of the amorphous regions, OH groups in semi-crystalline regions, and two types of intramolecular hydrogen-bonded OH groups in the crystalline regions, respectively. The saturation level of accessibility was very different for these absorption bands (i.e., 70–80, 60, and 40–50% for the amorphous, semi-crystalline, and crystalline regions, respectively). However, the saturation accessibilities for each absorption band varied little with molecular structure and geometry of the diffusants. The diffusion rate of D2O was much faster than that of n-butanol (OD) and t-butanol (OD) for all states of orders. The size effect of the butanols led to slight differences in the diffusive transport in the crystalline regions.
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