Novel Liquid extraction method for detecting Native-wood Formaldehyde

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Virginia Tech


New vigorous regulations have been established for decreasing the allowable formaldehyde emissions from nonstructural wood based composites. Two main sources of formaldehyde emission in non-structural wood based composites are adhesive and wood. Adhesives are quite well known and great efforts have been conducted to decrease their formaldehyde content; however formaldehyde emission from wood has received little attention and it is not completely understood. Wood-borne formaldehyde emission exists in a complex equilibrium in wood matrix. The reaction between formaldehyde and wood hydroxyl groups/water can hinder the complete formaldehyde extraction. In order to have a complete formaldehyde extraction, a stronger nucleophile than hydroxyl and water groups is needed.

In this study cross-linked poly (allylamine) (PAA) beads were synthesized and used as a strong nucleophile to extract all the biogenic and synthetic free-formaldehyde within the woody matrix of never-heated and heat-treated Virginia pines; the results were compared to simple water extraction. A new formaldehyde capturing device was also developed using a serum bottle.

Results showed that there was no advantage of using PAA beads over simple water extraction for extracting woody matrix free-formaldehyde. This means that simple water extraction can extract all the free-formaldehyde from the woody matrix. It was also found that thermal treatment resulted in generating more wood-borne formaldehyde. The other important finding was the new developed formaldehyde capturing device. The device was very promising for detecting wood-borne formaldehyde from very small pieces of wood (5-70 mg) and can be very useful in future studies.



Native-wood formaldehyde emission, liquid extraction, poly (allylamine) beads, water extraction