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FAF3304 Wood Chemistry, Biocomposites and Building Materials 7.5 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAF3304 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This course will explore basic chemistries of sugars, cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin and extractives. It will also cover macro, micro and molecular structure and properties of wood. Mechanisms of moisture sorption and desorption, biological attack, weathering and thermal degradation of wood will be examined. Adhesion and adhesives of biocomposites will be covered with discussions of building material properties and performance for both solid wood and wood composites. Chemical, cold plasma and thermal modification of wood will be discussed and mechanisms of performance improvement studied. Finally, utilization of fibers for three-dimensional composites, filters, sorbents and geotextiles will be discussed.

Intended learning outcomes

Wood and other bioresources have been restricted from many markets because they change dimensions with changing moisture content, thermally degrade and are degraded by microorganisms and ultraviolet energy. For the most part, we have learned to design and build around these shortcomings. The properties of wood, in general, are a result of the chemistry of cell wall polymers and the matrix they are in. Wood is a three dimensional biocomposite made up of an inter-connecting network of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin with minor amounts of extractives and inorganics. Performance of wood, biocomposites and building materials cannot be understood or improved without knowledge of cell wall chemistry, polymer matrices and materials science.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Entry requirements for PhD studies

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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The CRC "Handbook of Wood Chemistry and Wood Composites" edited and co-authored by Professor Roger Rowell.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • TEN1 - Written exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • UPP1 - Essay, 3.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FAF3304

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Magnus Wålinder (

Supplementary information

This course replaces FAF3301 Wood Chemistry, Biocomposites and Building Materials 7.5 credits.

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ABE/Building Materials