Chemical structure of wood charcoal by infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis
In this work, the effect of temperature on charcoal structure and chemical composition is investigated for four tree species. Wood charcoal carbonized at various temperatures is analyzed by mid infrared spectroscopy coupled with multivariate analysis and by thermogravimetric analysis to characterize the chemical composition during the carbonization process. The multivariate models of charcoal were able to distinguish between species and wood thermal treatments, revealing that the characteristics of the wood charcoal depend not only on the wood species, but also on the carbonization temperature. This work demonstrates the potential of mid infrared spectroscopy in the whiskey industry, from the identification and classification of the wood species for the mellowing process to the chemical characterization of the barrels after the toasting and charring process.