Delignification and Ionic Liquid Treatment of Wood toward Multifunctional High-Performance Structural Materials

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Wood-based multifunctional materials with excellent mechanical performance are increasingly considered for sustainable advanced applications due to their unique hierarchical structure and inherent reinforcing cellulose phase orientation. Nonetheless, a wider multipurpose utilization of wood materials is so far hampered because of constraints arising from scalable functionalization, efficient processing, facile shaping as well asnatural heterogeneity and durability. This study introduces a multifunctional all-wood material fabrication method relying on delignification, ionic liquid (IL) treatment, and pressure-assisted consolidation of wood. Structure-retaining controlled delignification of wood was performed to enable direct access to the hierarchical cellulose assembly, while preserving the highly aligned and thus beneficial wood structural directionality. As a following step, the obtained biobased scaffold with an increased porosity was infiltrated with an IL and heat-activated to partially dissolve and soften the cellulose fiber surface. Samples washed with water to remove IL exhibited pronounced isotropic flexibility, which upon combined compression and lateral shear allowed the fabrication of various 3D shapes with adjustable fiber architecture. The obtained very compact and totally additive-free all-wood materials were extensively characterized, revealing superior mechanical performance, and gained multifunctionality compared to native wood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23532–23542
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • all-wood materials
  • delignification
  • ionic liquid dissolution
  • natural fiber interpenetrating composites
  • wet 3D shaping
  • wood modification


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