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Analysis of lignin and extractives in the oak wood of the 17th century warship Vasa
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
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2014 (English)In: Holzforschung, ISSN 0018-3830, Vol. 68, no 4, 419-425 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The wood in the 17th century Swedish warship Vasa is weak. A depolymerization of the wood's cellulose has been linked to the weakening, but the chemical mechanisms are yet unclear. The objective of this study was to analyze the lignin and tannin moieties of the wood to clarify whether the depolymerization of cellulose via ongoing oxidative mechanisms is indeed the main reason for weakening the wood in the Vasa. Lignin was analyzed by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance [cross-polarization/magic-angle spinning (CP/MAS) C-13 NMR] and by means of wet chemical degradation (thioacidolysis) followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of the products. No differences could be observed between the Vasa samples and the reference samples that could have been ascribed to extensive lignin degradation. Wood extracts (tannins) were analyzed by matrix- assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) combined with time-of-flight (TOF) MS and C-13 NMR spectroscopy. The wood of the Vasa contained no discernible amounts of tannins, whereas still-waterlogged Vasa wood contained ellagic acid and traces of castalagin/vescalagin and grandinin. The results indicate that the condition of lignin in the Vasa wood is similar to fresh oak and that potentially harmful tannins are not present in high amounts. Thus, oxidative degradation mechanisms are not supported as a primary route to cellulose depolymerization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 68, no 4, 419-425 p.
Keyword [en]
archeological wood, degradation, extraction, lignin, oak wood, oxidative degradation, tannins, thioacidolysis, Vasa
National Category
Archaeology Wood Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-146142DOI: 10.1515/hf-2013-0067ISI: 000335650900007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84899852871OAI: diva2:722721
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research FormasVinnova

QC 20140609

Available from: 2014-06-09 Created: 2014-06-09 Last updated: 2014-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Dedic, DinaSandberg, TeresiaIversen, TommyEk, Monica
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