● DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-015-0730-z

Abstract:   For industrial processes, it is important to study the hygroscopicity and thermodynamic properties of juvenile and mature wood. Samples of Abies pinsapo Boiss. collected in the natural areas of the species in Spain were used to study these properties in both types of wood. The equilibrium moisture contents were obtained, and the 15, 35 and 50 ºC isotherms were plotted following the Guggenheim–Anderson–Boer–Dent model. The thermodynamic parameters were calculated using the integration method of the Clausius–Clapeyron equation. Chemical analyses, infrared spectra and X-ray diffractograms were applied to assess chemical modifications and possible changes in the cell wall structure. The chemical composition of the mature wood shows a decrease in the lignin and hemicelluloses content and an increase in the extracts and a -cellulose. The sorption isotherms for the three temperatures studied are higher in the mature wood than in the juvenile wood. Causes of this include the higher content of a-cellulose, the higher crystallinity index and the shorter crystallite length in the mature wood. No difference was found between the juvenile and mature wood in relation to the point of inflexion where the multilayer starts to predominate over the monolayer (approximately 30 %). In terms of the thermodynamic properties, the heat involved is greater in desorption than in adsorption, and more heat is involved in the mature wood than in the juvenile wood.