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Impact of iron(II) and oxygen on degradation of oak - modeling of the Vasa wood
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Mechanics.
2014 (English)In: Holzforschung, ISSN 0018-3830, E-ISSN 1437-434X, Vol. 68, no 6, 649-655 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the wood of the Swedish 17th century warship Vasa, iron (Fe)-catalyzed chemical degradation has taken place after the salvation in 1961, which is manifested in increased acidity accompanied by cellulose degradation and reduced strength in the oak hull. Model studies on fresh oak impregnated with Fe(II) also led to tensile strength (TS) reduction in the same order of magnitude as observed in the wood of the Vasa. In the present study, further experiments have been performed concerning the Fe-catalyzed wood degradation. Namely, the degree of wood degradation was monitored quantitatively by measurement of the O-2 consumption of Fe(II)-impregnated oak, kept in closed vials with different relative humidities (RH), as a function of time. The initial O-2 consumption was high and declined with time. After 200 days, the accumulated O-2 consumption was 0.3-0.4 mmol g(-1) wood. Degradation products with low molecular weight were analyzed. The release of CO2 and oxalic acid (OA) was positively correlated with RH (0.235 and 0.044 mmol g(-1), respectively, at RH98% after 200 days). Samples kept for 1500 days at RH54% had accumulated 0.044 mmol OA g(-1) wood, which is equal to the average OA content in the interior of Vasa oak (corresponding to 4 mg g(-1)). Oak samples, from which extractives had been removed prior to Fe(II) impregnation, did not change their O-2 consumption or TS reduction compared to the nonextracted samples, indicating that extractives are not essential for cellulose degradation in this context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 68, no 6, 649-655 p.
Keyword [en]
degradation, iron compounds, oxalic acid, oxygen consumption, polyethylene glycol, Vasa, waterlogged wood
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering science with specialization in Applied Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-235201DOI: 10.1515/hf-2013-0197ISI: 000342090900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-235201DiVA: diva2:759870
Available from: 2014-10-31 Created: 2014-10-29 Last updated: 2014-11-03Bibliographically approved

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Bjurhager, Ingela
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