iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Thermo-modified native black poplar (Populus nigra L.) wood as an insulation material

Luigi Todaro (1), Stefania Liuzzi (2), Antonio Marco Pantaleo (3), Valentina Lo Giudice (1)   , Nicola Moretti (1), Pietro Stefanizzi (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 268-273 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3710-014
Published: May 29, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: Research Project PRIN-MIUR 2015
The forest-wood value chain: biomass supply, traceability, C-footprint. Innovation for bioarchitecture and energy efficiency
Guest Editors: Scarascia Mugnozza G, Maesano M, Romagnoli M

Extensive research projects have been carried out on thermal modification of wood material, yet thermal properties of thermally modified poplar wood have not been comprehensively investigated. Black poplar (Populus nigra L.) is a Eurasian species native to Italy which is rarely used for the production of high-performance products, though it is one of the least expensive hardwoods on the market. To explore alternative applications of poplar wood such as building facade or fire resistance materials, reliable data of thermal behaviour of thermally modified wood at high temperatures are needed. In this work, the thermal behaviour of native black poplar wood after thermal modification at different temperatures (180 °C, 200 °C and 220 °C) was analyzed. Thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and porosity were measured on poplar wood boards, as well as mass loss and wood color changes after heat treatment were quantified. Thermal conductivity of wood samples showed significant changes after treatment at 200 and 220 °C, but not at 180 °C. Wood porosity showed significant differences with the control when the samples were modified at a temperature of 220 °C. Increasing color differences were observed in wood samples by increasing the thermal modification temperature. Also, the mass loss of wood samples increased and equilibrium moisture content significantly dropped down after thermal modification. Our results showed that the use of thermally-modified black poplar wood could be considered as a viable alternative to chemically treated wood products for specific applications where high insulation is needed, such as saunas or windows, and for façades elements.


Thermal Modification, Poplar, Insulation, Thermal Properties

Authors’ address

Luigi Todaro 0000-0001-7230-2188
Valentina Lo Giudice
Nicola Moretti 0000-0001-6897-8310
School of Agricultural, Forest, Food and Environmental Science (SAFE) -University of Basilicata, Potenza (Italy)
Stefania Liuzzi 0000-0003-4509-1922
Pietro Stefanizzi 0000-0001-7506-5202
Department of Civil Engineering Sciences and Architecture - Polytechnic University of Bari, Bari (Italy)
Antonio Marco Pantaleo 0000-0002-5210-646X
Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences - University of Bari (Italy)

Corresponding author

Valentina Lo Giudice


Todaro L, Liuzzi S, Pantaleo AM, Lo Giudice V, Moretti N, Stefanizzi P (2021). Thermo-modified native black poplar (Populus nigra L.) wood as an insulation material. iForest 14: 268-273. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3710-014

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Nov 30, 2020
Accepted: Apr 08, 2021

First online: May 29, 2021
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2021
Publication Time: 1.70 months

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