Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites  book cover
2nd Edition

Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites

Edited By

Roger M. Rowell

ISBN 9781439853801
Published September 6, 2012 by CRC Press
703 Pages 417 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Wood has played a major role throughout human history. Strong and versatile, the earliest humans used wood to make shelters, cook food, construct tools, build boats, and make weapons. Recently, scientists, politicians, and economists have renewed their interest in wood because of its unique properties, aesthetics, availability, abundance, and perhaps most important of all, its renewability. However, wood will not reach its highest use potential until we fully describe it, understand the mechanisms that control its performance properties, and, finally, are able to manipulate those properties to give us the desired performance we seek.

The Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites analyzes the chemical composition and physical properties of wood cellulose and its response to natural processes of degradation. It describes safe and effective chemical modifications to strengthen wood against biological, chemical, and mechanical degradation without using toxic, leachable, or corrosive chemicals. Expert researchers provide insightful analyses of the types of chemical modifications applied to polymer cell walls in wood. They emphasize the mechanisms of reaction involved and resulting changes in performance properties including modifications that increase water repellency, fire retardancy, and resistance to ultraviolet light, heat, moisture, mold, and other biological organisms. The text also explores modifications that increase mechanical strength, such as lumen fill, monomer polymer penetration, and plasticization.

The Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites concludes with the latest applications, such as adhesives, geotextiles, and sorbents, and future trends in the use of wood-based composites in terms of sustainable agriculture, biodegradability and recycling, and economics. Incorporating decades of teaching experience, the editor of this handbook is well-attuned to educational demands as well as industry standards and research trends.

Table of Contents

Wood and Society. Structure and Chemistry: Structure and Function of Wood. Cell Wall Chemistry. Properties: Moisture Properties. Biological Properties of Wood. Thermal Properties, Combustion, and Fire Retardancy of Wood. Weathering of Wood and Wood Composites. Surface Characterization. Wood Composites: Adhesion and Adhesives. Wood Composites. Chemistry of Wood Strength. Fiber Webs. Wood/Nonwood Thermoplastic Composites. Property Improvements: Heat Treatments. Chemical Modification of Wood. Lumen Modifications. Plasma Treatment of Wood. Sustainability of Wood and Other Biomass.

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Roger M. Rowell is with the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


"The book presents comprehensive and critical concepts, as well as the future trends in wood chemistry and wood composites, by compiling contributions of international experts in the field. The volume is structured in four main parts, each of them having a variable number of chapters. ... This book is a valuable source of information on the complex subject of wood science. The volume is recommended to all scientists and engineers involved in research and to teachers, graduate and undergraduate students interested in polymer physics, polymer engineering, material science and engineering, fiber science, and chemical engineering."
—Diana Ciolacu, Cellulose Chem. Technol., 46 (9-10), 649-653 (2012)

"This text highlights the importance of deer habitat management within the context of the management of wildlife at the ecosystem scale, while filling a void in information on modern management techniques that can be utilized by both professional and lay managers and addressing the new set of management challenges in urban/ suburban areas where traditional management techniques are not feasible."
Northeastern Naturalist, Vol. 19 No.1, 2012

Praise for the First Edition

Winner of a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Award for 2006!

"Current developments in composites and an increasing interest in natural, renewable, and recyclable materials are yielding an increased interest in this subject. As the research field develops, it is a good thing if one of the 'founding fathers' writes a textbook that walks the reader through the basic concepts and applications. Rowell is well-positioned to author such a book."
—John Simonsen, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA

"It will be another classic, invaluable for scientists or engineers who work with wood."
CHOICE, October 2005

"…provides great insight into how the structure, chemistry and properties of timber make it such an enduring material….a valuable resource to many who need to "look beneath the veneer" of wood and wood products…"
—Chemistry & Industry, October 2005