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Effect of Degradation on Wood Hygroscopicity: The Case of a 400-Year-Old Coffin

Departamento Sistemas y Recursos Naturales. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Montes, Forestales y Medio Natural. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Departamento de Mineralogía y Petrología. Universidad de Granada, Av. Fuentenueva, 18002 Granada, Spain
Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Linnaeus University, Lückligs Plats 1, 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(7), 712;
Received: 30 May 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science)
The hygroscopicity and thermodynamic properties of Pinus sylvestris L. wood from a coffin allegedly holding the remains of famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616) were studied using the 15 °C and 35 °C isotherms fitted to the Guggenheim–Anderson–de Boer model and comparing them with the isotherms of recently felled wood of the same species. In addition, using infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) and X-ray diffractograms, the functional groups were determined and the crystallinity and organization of the cell wall components were analyzed. The absence of the 1740 cm−1 group indicates hemicellulose degradation in the archaeological wood, and the X-ray diffractograms show a considerable decrease in cellulose crystallinity and disorganization of the cellulose crystallites. The greater availability of active –OH groups means that the archaeological wood isotherms are above the juvenile and mature wood isotherms, and therefore the thermodynamic balance in the sorption of the archaeological wood is greater. View Full-Text
Keywords: archaeological wood; FTIR-ATR; GAB; isotherms; sorption; XRD-technique archaeological wood; FTIR-ATR; GAB; isotherms; sorption; XRD-technique
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García-Iruela, A.; García Esteban, L.; García Fernández, F.; de Palacios, P.; Rodriguez-Navarro, A.B.; Sánchez, L.G.; Hosseinpourpia, R. Effect of Degradation on Wood Hygroscopicity: The Case of a 400-Year-Old Coffin. Forests 2020, 11, 712.

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