Chemical improvement of surfaces. Part 1: Novel functional modification of wood with covalently bound organoboron compounds

Jan C. Namyslo 1  and Dieter E. Kaufmann 1
  • 1 Clausthal University of Technology, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany


A novel type of chemical modification of wood was developed and applied to functionalise wood permanently with organoboron compounds. The covalent attachment of metalloid substituents via a benzotriazolyl-activated benzoic acid to wood hydroxy groups was in focus. Thus, standard modification procedures in wood chemistry – such as the acetylation – are improved by avoiding either the loss of half the reagent in the case of acid anhydrides or the release of corrosive hydrochloric acid in the case of carboxylic acid chlorides. The introduced boron moiety could be a contribution to solve a long-lasting problem in the field of wood protection: chemical fixation of an organoboron compound by means of a well-defined covalent bond. Accordingly, the hitherto insufficient long-term availability of conventionally spread boron compounds as wood protecting agents caused by leaching can now be avoided. The investigation was also extended to arylsilyl compounds, as a second type of organometal substances, which potentially allow for subsequent chemical modifications by ipso-substitution. The presented wood modification reactions yielded weight percent gain values from 14% to 31% on beech wood, spruce wood, and pine sapwood meal (approximately 500 μm in diameter) or pine sapwood veneer chips. The modified meals and chips were analysed by IR spectroscopy.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.