Abstract

The feasibility of Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy to rapidly determine extractive and phenolic content in heartwood of larch trees (Larix decidua MILL., L. leptolepis (LAMB.) CARR. and the hybrid L. x eurolepis) was investigated. FT-NIR spectra were collected from wood powder and solid wood using a fibre-optic probe. Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression analyses were carried out describing relationships between the data sets of wet laboratory chemical data and the FT-NIR spectra. Besides cross and test set validation the established models were subjected to a further evaluation step by means of additional wood samples with unknown extractive content. Extractive and phenol contents of these additional samples were predicted and outliers detected through Mahalanobis distance calculations. Models based on the whole spectral range and without data pre-processing performed well in cross-validation and test set validation, but failed in the evaluation test, which is based on spectral outlier detection. But selection of data pre-processing methods and manual as well as automatic restriction of wavenumber ranges considerably improved the model predictability. High coefficients of determination (R2) and low root mean square errors of cross-validation (RMSECV) were obtained for hot water extractives (R2 = 0.96, RMSECV = 0.86%, range = 4.9–20.4%), acetone extractives (R2 = 0.86, RMSECV = 0.32%, range = 0.8–3.6%) and phenolic substances (R2 = 0.98, RMSECV = 0.21%, range = 0.7–4.9%) from wood powder. The models derived from wood powder spectra were more precise than those obtained from solid wood strips. Overall, NIR spectroscopy has proven to be an easy to facilitate, reliable, accurate and fast method for non-destructive wood extractive determination.

© 2002 NIR Publications

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