Determination of mesopores in the wood cell wall at dry and wet state
Wood porosity is of great interest for basic research and applications. one aspect is the cell wall porosity at total dry state. When water is absorbed by wood, the uptake of water within the cell wall leads to a dimension change of the material. A hypothesis for possible structures that hold the water is induced cell wall porosity. nitrogen and krypton physisorption as well as high pressure hydrogen sorption and thermoporosimetry were applied to softwood and hardwood (pine and beech) in dry and wet state for determining surface area and porosity. physisorption is not able to detect pores or surface area within the cell wall. Krypton physisorption shows surface area up 5 times lower than nitrogen with higher accuracy. With high pressure sorption no inaccessible pore volumes were seen at higher pressures. thermoporosimetry was not able to detect mesopores within the hygroscopic water sorption region. Physisorption has to be handled carefully regarding the differences between adsorptives. The absence of water-induced mesopores within the hygroscopic region raise doubts on existing water sorption theories that assume these pore dimensions. When using the term “cell wall porosity”, it is important to distinguish between pores on the cell wall surface and pores that exist because of biological structure, as there are no water-induced mesopores present. The finding offers the possibility to renew wood-water-sorption theories because based on the presented results transport of water in the cell wall must be realized by structures lower than two 2 nm. Nanoporous structures in wood at wet state should be investigated more intensively in future.