Xylan assisted construction of highly hydrophobic wood surface

A new study suggests the potential applications of xylans in the construction of highly hydrophobic wood surfaces for wood protection.

Wooden planks with water drops.
The developed dispersions led to a highly hydrophobic wood surface.  Image source: b52_Tresa - Pixabay (symbol image). 

Forming a nano-structured rough surface and incorporating synthetic low surface energy polymers is one of the major methods to construct a highly hydrophobic wood surface. However, most of the synthetic polymers are petroleum-based chemicals, which are toxic, non-biodegradable and lack the ability to well disperse the nanoparticles to construct an excellent nano-structured rough surface. In a new study, xylans were modified by esterification reaction between dodecenyl succinic anhydride (DDSA) and the hydroxyls on xylans under alkaline condition. The DDSA modified xylans were used as a dispersant and an anchoring agent to uniformly disperse SiO2 nanoparticles and bind them on wood surface to construct a rough nano-structure.

High hydrophobicity

The DDSA modified xylans also demonstrated high hydrophobicity and low surface energy. The coating with SiO2 nanoparticle/DDSA modified xylan dispersions with an air-drying strategy has successfully led to a highly hydrophobic wood surface with a contact angle up to 131°.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 174, January 2023.

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