DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HF.2008.106

Abstract: The hygroscopicity and thermodynamic properties of juvenile Pinus sylvestris L. wood taken from the submerged piles of a bridge built in 1903 over the Jiloca River, in Spain, were compared with the corresponding values of juvenile wood of the same species from recently cut trees. The 35 degrees C and 50 degrees C isotherms were plotted and subsequently fitted using the Guggenheim-Anderson-Boer-Dent method, and the isosteric heat of sorption was obtained through the integration method of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The isotherms were compared by means of the hysteresis coefficients. Infrared spectra were recorded to study the chemical modifications, and the crystal structure of the cellulose was studied by X-ray diffractograms. The submersion in water resulted in hemicellulose degradation and a decrease in the crystallinity index and the crystallite length, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the proportion of amorphous zones. Owing to this, the equilibrium moisture contents of the water logged wood are higher than in the recent wood, both in adsorption and in desorption. In terms of the thermodynamic properties, the bond energy is higher in the recent wood than in the water logged wood.