Journal article Open Access

An examination of the potential for the use of the Maillard reaction to modify wood

Peeters, Kelly; Larnøy, Erik; Kutnar, Andreja; Hill, Callum A.S.

Finding efficient ways to decrease wood decay caused by fungi is an important issue in the timber

construction. A possible way to avoid wood decay by fungi is by reducing the water content of

wood, since water is a primary condition for fungal growth. Bulking of the wood cell wall by

chemical reagents occupies the space where water normally occurs. This also improves the

dimensional stability of the modified wood. The aim of the work was to react non-toxic

reagents using a Maillard type of reaction in the wood cell wall. Wood was soaked in different

aqueous solutions with a primary amine and a sugar as the main constituents. The wood was

thereafter cured in an oven at 120°C. The preliminary results showed that the use of the

Maillard reaction for wood modification is a promising method and is worth further research.

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