iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Characterization of VOC emission profile of different wood species during moisture cycles

Martina Sassoli (1)   , Cosimo Taiti (2), Werther Guidi Nissim (2), Corrado Costa (3), Stefano Mancuso (2), Paolo Menesatti (3), Marco Fioravanti (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 576-584 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2259-010
Published: May 08, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

This study addresses the characterization of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by samples of 13 different wood species, belonging to both softwoods and hardwoods groups, regularly measured at different intervals of time, after the first measurement on green wood. The same wood specimens were subjected to several cycles of water desorption and adsorption, assuming that moisture variation might play a role in both the formation and emission of VOCs. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS) was used as a tool to characterize the emission of VOCs. Coupled with a multivariate class-modelling approach, this tool was able to discriminate between groups (softwood and hardwood) and in some cases between different species. However, results showed that the discriminant capacity of VOCs emission to separate species and families rapidly decreases after the first cycles of moisture variation in wood. The green wood was characterized by a richness of volatile compounds, whereas, after only the first dry cycle, wood emitted a more restricted group of compounds. We hypothesized that most of these VOCs might have originated from structural changes and degradation processes that involve the main polymers (particularly hemicellulose) constituting the cell wall of wooden cells. The results obtained are in agreement with the physical and chemical modification processes that characterize wood ageing.


Wood, VOCs, PTR-TOF-MS, PLSDA, Wood Ageing, Moisture Content

Authors’ address

Martina Sassoli
Marco Fioravanti
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi Agrari, Alimentari e Forestali (GESAAF), v. San Bonaventura 13, I-50145 Firenze (Italy)
Cosimo Taiti
Werther Guidi Nissim
Stefano Mancuso
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Agroalimentari e dell’Ambiente, v.le delle Idee 30, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze (Italy)
Corrado Costa
Paolo Menesatti
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA) - Unità di ricerca per l’ingegneria agraria, v. del Pascolare 16, I-00015 Monterotondo Scalo (RM - Italy)

Corresponding author

Martina Sassoli


Sassoli M, Taiti C, Guidi Nissim W, Costa C, Mancuso S, Menesatti P, Fioravanti M (2017). Characterization of VOC emission profile of different wood species during moisture cycles. iForest 10: 576-584. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2259-010

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Oct 19, 2016
Accepted: Mar 29, 2017

First online: May 08, 2017
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2017
Publication Time: 1.33 months

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