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Combining scattering analysis and atomistic simulation of wood-water interactions

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Paavo A.Penttilä, Antti Paajanen, Jukka A.Ketoja

Abstract: Molecular-scale interactions between water and cellulose microfibril bundles in plant cell walls are not fully understood, despite their crucial role for many applications of plant biomass. Recent advances in X-ray and neutron scattering analysis allow more accurate interpretation of experimental data from wood cell walls. At the same time, microfibril bundles including hemicelluloses and water can be modelled at atomistic resolution. Computing scattering patterns from atomistic models enables a new, complementary approach to decipher some of the most fundamental questions at this level of the hierarchical cell wall structure. This article introduces studies related to moisture behavior of wood with small/wide-angle X-ray/neutron scattering and atomistic simulations, recent attempts to combine these two approaches, and perspectives and open questions for future research using this powerful combination. Finally, we discuss the opportunities of the combined method in relation to applications of lignocellulosic materials.

Keywords: Wood nanostructure, Moisture behavior, X-ray scattering, Neutron scattering, Atomistic simulation


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