Surface tuning of wood via covalent modification of its lignocellulosic biopolymers with substituted benzoates : a study on reactivity, efficiency, and durability

Chemical modification of wood applying benzo- triazolyl-activated carboxylic acids has proven to be a versatile method for the durable functionalization of its lignocellulosic biopolymers. Through this process, the material properties of wood can be influenced and specifically optimized. To check the scope and limitations of this modification method, various benzamide derivatives with electron-withdrawing (EWG) or electron-donating (EDG) functional groups in different positions of the aromatic ring were synthesized and applied for covalent modification of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sapwood in this study. The bonded amounts of substances (up to 2.20 mmol) were compared with the reactivity constants of the Hammett equation, revealing a significant correlation between the modification efficiency and the theoretical reactivity constants of the corresponding aromatic substitution pattern. The successful covalent attachment of the respective substituted benzamides was proven by attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy, while the stability of the newly formed ester bond was proven in a standardized leaching test.


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