A multi-scale model for diffusion of large molecules in steam-exploded wood
Journal article, 2020

In this paper, multi-scale modeling was used to resolve diffusion in steam-exploded wood at tracheid scales including sub-micrometer features of bordered pits. Simulations were performed using the lattice Boltzmann method with high-resolution X-ray tomography image data as the input for the microstructure. The results show an effective method for utilizing a variable diffusion coefficient to implement two length scales. This circumvents the need to resolve the bordered pits in detail, which requires massive computing power. Instead, the effective diffusion coefficient for one bordered pit is used as input for this model. Results based on the present model are comparable to experimental data. This methodology can be extended to more structural features at the microscale of wood, such as latewood and the cell wall. Obtaining a map of different diffusion coefficients based on features and scale gives a better overall understanding of diffusion and the importance of mass transport with regard to the pretreatment of wood.


Patric Kvist

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

SuMo Biomaterials

Tobias Gebäck

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

SuMo Biomaterials

Anders Rasmuson

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Wood Science and Technology

0043-7719 (ISSN) 1432-5225 (eISSN)

Vol. 54 4 821-835

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Bioinformatics (Computational Biology)

Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)



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2/8/2021 4