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Wood Research and Technology


Cellulose – Hemicelluloses – Lignin – Wood Extractives

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Evaluation of moisture diffusion in lignocellulosic biomass in steady and unsteady states by a dynamic vapor sorption apparatus

Tianyi ZhanORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2120-6062 / Fengze Sun
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Chao Lv
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Qian He
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
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/ Xuan Wang
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
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/ Kang XuORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8814-2868 / Yaoli Zhang
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
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/ Liping Cai
  • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, P.R. China
  • Mechanical and Energy Engineering Department, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76201, USA
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Published Online: 2019-07-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2019-0063


To examine the methodology for determining the moisture diffusion behavior of lignocellulosic biomass in steady and unsteady states (two stages of a sorption isotherm), the diffusion coefficients in the steady and unsteady states (DSS and DUS) were investigated over a range of relative humidity (RH) from 10 to 90% using a dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) apparatus and a specifically designed cell kit. Thin samples with a thickness of 50 μm were prepared from three lignocellulosic biomasses, i.e. poplar, Chinese fir and moso bamboo. Based on Fick’s first and second laws, DSS and DUS were determined. An increase in DSS or DUS was observed with increasing equilibrium moisture content (EMC) or transient status, regardless of the lignocellulosic biomass species. The moisture-dependent DSS of poplar, Chinese fir and moso bamboo was similar to values previously reported. Chinese fir and moso bamboo exhibited the highest and the lowest DSS values, respectively, when the same EMCs were achieved. The results of this study revealed that DSS and DUS of lignocellulosic biomass (even with limited dimensions) could be determined during a sorption isotherm in a wide humidity range. Furthermore, the results are helpful for simulating moisture transport behaviors in the fields of drying, paper packaging and wooden building maintenance.

Keywords: dynamic vapor sorption (DVS); Fick’s law; lignocellulosic; moisture content; moisture diffusion; steady state; unsteady state


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About the article

Received: 2019-03-03

Accepted: 2019-06-07

Published Online: 2019-07-20

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0600202), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31700487), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (CN) (no. BK20170926), the Practice Innovation Training Program for College Students in Jiangsu Province (201810298054Z) and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Insitutions (PAPD).

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Citation Information: Holzforschung, 20190063, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2019-0063.

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