Kinetic Analysis of the Color of Larch Sapwood and Heartwood during Heat Treatment
The kinetics of color changes in larch sapwood and heartwood during heat treatment were investigated in this study in order to determine if the process of color change that occurs in the surface of wood can be regulated. Wood samples were heated at 90, 110, 130, and 150 °C in an oven, vacuum, and in an oven subjected to saturated steam for 3, 6, 9, and 12 h each. The results of the color measurement showed that the values of L* (lightness) and ΔE* (total color difference) decreased and increased in both the sapwood and heartwood, respectively, with increasing temperature and treatment time. The three kinetic model approach, consisting of (i) the time-temperature superposition principle (TTSP); (ii) zero-order reaction model; and, (iii) first-order reaction model, was used to model the kinetics of color changes. The results indicated that the L* value of the sample (including heartwood and sapwood) was well fitted to the first-order reaction model (R2 = 0.9999). The Arrhenius activation energy was 14.2369 and 11.0984 kJ/mol for the sapwood and heartwood, respectively. The first-order reaction model also showed a better fit for the ΔE* values between sapwood and heartwood with higher R2 values than the other two methods. Therefore, the color changes of larch wood could successfully be analyzed using the first-order reaction model.