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FPS COST Action E20
Wood fibre cell wall structure

The main objective of COST Action E20 has been to provide academia, applied researchers, forest breeders and wood processing industries with an improved understanding of the chemistry and ultrastructure of wood fibre cell walls to ensure that Europe will maintain its position at the forefront of knowledge in this field and thereby retain the competitiveness of European forest industries.

After comprehensively reviewing the existing information and techniques in the frame of several workshops, the Action developed new knowledge about cellulose and lignin structure and biosynthesis. Lignin structure was found to vary within the different cell wall layers and new specific tools were developed to recognise this variation. A comprehensive survey has been carried out on the variation of microfibril angle (MFA) in fibre wall and the relation MFA to the stiffness of wood and fibres. Variation of cellulose and lignin structure and chemistry are main properties affecting pulping processes as well as paper properties and thus a better control leads to a more uniform product quality. The information is also important for future innovations and uses of cellulose and lignin derivatives.

One of the purposes of the Action was to activate information transfer from research to industry. A large number of industry representatives attended the last workshop of the Action, in which state of the art reports were delivered.

Furthermore, COST Action E20 has been successful in compiling the widely scattered information on methods to study wood fibre cell walls. This was published in December 2004 in the COST Action E20 Book “Wood Fibre Cell Walls: Methods to Study their Formation, Structure and Properties”. Researchers cooperating in COST Action E20 have now been successful in proposing two new Actions, one on wood micromechanics (COST E35), and one on cell wall macromolecules and reaction wood (COST E50).

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Science officer of the Action:


Administrative officer of the Action:



Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF


Last updated: 02 May 2011 top of page