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

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Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) transmission spectroscopy was applied to monitor the diffusion process of deuteriumlabeled molecules in hardwood (Beech). The results are compared with previous data obtained on softwood (Sitka spruce) in order to consistently understand the state of order in cellulose of wood. The saturation accessibility and diffusion rate varied characteristically with the OH groups in different states of order in the wood substance, the diffusants, and the wood species, respectively. The variation of saturation accessibility should be associated with the fundamental difference of the fine structure such as the microfibrils in the wood substance. The effect of the anatomical cellular structure on the accessibility was reflected in the variation of the diffusion rate with the wood species. The size effect of the diffusants also played an important role for the diffusion process in wood. Since the volumetric percentage of wood fibers and wood rays is relatively similar, the dichroic effects due to the anisotropy of the cellulose chains were apparently diminished. Finally, we proposed a new interpretation of the fine structure of the microfibrils in the cell wall by comparing a series of results from hardwood and softwood. Each elementary fibril in the hardwood has a more homogeneous arrangement in the microfibrils compared to that in the softwood.
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