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A green steam-modified delignification method to prepare low-lignin delignified wood for thick, large highly transparent wood composites

  • Huayang Li (a1), Xuelian Guo (a2), Yuming He (a1) and Rongbo Zheng (a1)

To suppress the interface gap between the cell walls of wood and filled epoxy resin, a green and universal H2O2 or H2O2/HAc steam-modified delignification approach is developed to remove more lignin, thereby generating more pores to be more conveniently backfilled by epoxy resin for highly transparent wood composites. Utilizing the excellent penetration ability of steam, not only different wood species, such as basswood and pine, with different cutting directions but also the thickest (40 mm) and largest (210 × 190 mm) wood samples can be successfully delignified. Compared with the 1.9% lignin content (which is the normal content of delignified wood prepared by solution-based methods) of delignified wood, the as-prepared delignified wood has the lowest lignin content of 0.84% to date. After the infiltration of epoxy resin, not only did the mechanical strength of the 5-mm transparent wood composite increase from 12.5 to 20.6 MPa, but the transmittance (the wavelength was 550 nm) also increased from 80 to 87% due to the lower absorbance of visible light by lignin and the suppression of the interface debonding gap between the cell walls and the backfilled epoxy resin.

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