TA feedback - UGent DSC-TGA

Project Title: Thermal degradation of Quercus cerris cork macromolecules

Applicant: School of Agronomy, Forest Research Centre, Lisboa, Portugal

Duration: 11-18 February 2013

Feedback: We already have some interesting results, and we learned from this experience.

  • We have studied, for the first time, thermal decomposition of Quercus cerris cork macromolecules and  extractives by DSC/TGA.
  • We also studied Quercus cerris phloem and Quercus suber cork thermal decompositions.
  • The two corks have showed similar decompositions, while phloem decomposition is to some extent different.
  • Because of the chemical differences between the cork species and also between cork species and phloem, the resulting thermograms are different. These differences allowed us to study the decomposition pattern of macromolecules and extractives .
  • Thermal degradation starts at temperatures over 200°C and continues until about 480°C.
  • Two exothermal peaks at temperatures 315°C and 440°C were observed in the cork species.
  • It seems that in Quercus cerris cork lipophyllic extractives and suberin increase the heat resistance.
  • In Quercus suber cork suberin also increases the heat resistance. Extractives do not influence the thermal degradation to a large extent.
  • Phloem seems to contain a high amount of lignin and has different polyssacharides composition.
  • Phloem thermograms are similar to those of cork thermograms but the exothermal peak temperatures are different.

Project Title: Into the causes of sap flow underestimation: Alteration of wood anatomy by thermal dissipation sensors (AnaSap)

Applicant: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Duration: 30 June – 5 July 2014

Feedback: The extension of the wound was determined both in dry and wet conditions. The formation of tyloses was observed at high resolution for both beech and oak.

I had a very productive and exciting week and obtained really interesting results which I could not have obtained if I would have not received the grant.