Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) is the analysis of the light with wavelengths between 780 and 2500 nm interacting with a molecule. NIR absorption, emission or reflection is recorded through a detector obtaining a spectrum. This is a plot of measured intensity versus wavelength (or frequency) of light.
The NIR spectrometers are capable of identifying physical, mechanical and chemical properties of wood allowing the possibility to clearly recognize different species and to realize quality assessments. This is possible because major absorption bands in Near Infrared spectra comes from O–H, C–H, and C–O bonds. These are the main components of the wood cell walls: cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. NIR absorption spectra are often complex and normally possess broad overlapping absorption bands. For this reasson it needs complex chemometrical analyses to be correctly interpreted. Hence, the optimization of the mathematical algorithm is also the critical TRL factor and it must be upgraded to treat a high number of different species and origins.
But NIRWOOD project goes one step further, confirming that our prototype system based in NIR technology is sensitive enough as to detect differences among same species from different localities. The reason is that wood differs in its composition and structure depending on where the tree grows. It is due to its adaptation to local climate, soil, slope, forest density, silvicultural practices, fungi, wildlife, diseases and other factors.
NIR technology advantages
Accuracy: NIR technology gives an accurate identification of the geographical origin with a precision of only a few Km
Reliability: NIR technology is sensitive to chemical components and wood internal structure, allowing the identification of wood species and quality
Immediacy: In only 5 to 10 seconds NIRWOOD will give a precise answer to its user
Simplicity: NIRWOOD device is easy to use through a friendly-user application installed in your cell phone
Low-cost: NIRWOOD targets to reduce the price of the analysis in more than 60% with regard to other commercial devices