Inorganic Concentrations in Selected Woods and Charcoals Measured Using NAA


  • Bruce E. Cutter
  • E. Allen McGinnes
  • David H. McKown


Inorganics, woods, charcoals, NAA, southern pine, earlywood, latewood


Neutron activation analysis was used to determine the levels of several inorganic elements in seven species of wood- and laboratory-prepared charcoals. The samples were exposed for 1 min to a thermal neutron flux of 1 x 1014 n/cm2-sec. Following a 10-min decay period, sample activity was measured for 500 sec. Concentrations of Al, Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Mn, and Na were measured. Ba, Cu, Sr, and V were also identified in several samples. Matched samples of southern pine earlywood and latewood contained similar amounts of inorganics.


Beall, F. C. 1977. Properties of wood during carbonization under fire conditions. Pages 107-114 in I. Goldstein, ed., Wood technology: Chemical aspects (ACS Symposium Series; 43) Washington D.C.nBeall, F. C., D. Slocum, J. Kidlark, and J. Kryla. 1977. Chemical and physical changes in wood during pyrolysis. Paper presented at the Forest Prod. Res. Soc. Annual Meeting. Denver, CO.nChoong, E. T., B. Y. Chang, and J. Kowalczuk. 1974. Mineral composition in loblolly pine wood after fertilization. LSU Wood Utilization Notes, No. 26. 5 pp.nCowling, E. B. 1961. Comparative biochemistry of the decay of sweetgum sapwood by white-rot and brown-rot fungi. USDA Tech. Bull. No. 1258:56-75.nCutter, B. E., and W. K. Murphey. 1970. An X-ray diffraction analysis for residual cellulose in white-rotted wood. Wood Sci. 3(1):54-58.nEllis, E. L. 1962. Inorganic constituents of wood. Forest Prod. J. 12(6):271-274.nEllis, E. L. 1965. Inorganic elements in wood. Pp. 181-187 in W. A. Côté, ed., Cellular ultrastructure of woody plants. Syracuse Univ. Press Syracuse, NY.nGalligan, W. L., H. Stern, and P. Hohenschuh. 1965. Manganese distribution in wood by neutron activation analysis. Forest Prod. J. 15(5):185-189.nHarper, T., T. Inouye, and N. Rasmussen. 1968. Gamanal, a computer program applying Fourier transforms to the analysis of gamma-ray spectral data. USAEC Rep. No. MIT 3944-2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.nHumphreys, F. R., and G. E. Ironsides. 1974. Charcoal from New South Wales species of timber. Forestry Commission of N.S.W. Tech. Paper 23, 41 pp.nLoos, W. E. 1965. Neutron activation of Engelmann spruce. Forest Prod. J. 15(4):178.nMcMillin, C. W. 1970. Mineral content of loblolly pine wood as related to specific gravity, growth rate, and distance from pith. Holzforschung 24:152-157.nMeyer, J. A., and J. E. Langwig. 1973. Neutron activation analysis of inorganic elements in wood. Wood Sci. 5(4):270-280.nOsterhaus, C. A., J. E. Langwig, and J. A. Meyer. 1975. Elemental analysis of wood by improved neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometry. Wood. Sci. 8(1):370-374.nSlocum, D. H., E. A. McGinnes, Jr., and D. H. McKown. 1978. Elemental analysis of oak and hickory charcoal using neutron activation analysis. Wood Fiber 10(3):200-209.nVogt, J. R. (ed.) 1970. Nuclear science group technical report. July 1, 1969 to June 30, 1970. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. 156 pp.nYoung, H. E., and V. P. Guinn. 1966. Chemical elements in complete mature trees of seven species in Maine. Tappi 49(5):190-197.n






Research Contributions