US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Christopher G. Hunt

Christopher G. Hunt

Research Chemist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
United States

Phone: 608-231-9521
Contact Christopher G. Hunt

Current Research

My current research is focused on the movement of chemicals (including water) through cell walls, and the fundamental structure of cell walls that controls mobility and many other wood properties. Movement of chemicals through the cell wall is a critical part of wood decay, adhesive durability, fastener corrosion, paint adhesion, and the pretreatment of wood for conversion to value-added chemicals or fuel. Current specific applications include:

Explaining the mechanism of wood modifications that stop wood from rotting, so that we can develop more cost effective modifications.

Improving pretreatment protocols for converting wood into chemicals, to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion.

Improving our understanding of how durable bonds are made between wood and adhesives or paints, so that wood products deliver better performance over a longer lifespan.

Understanding the mechanism of soy protein adhesive formation, so that we can replace even more fossil-fuel-based wood adhesives with soybeans or other bio-based alternatives.

Current techniques in use in my lab are solute exclusion, microscopy/imaging, confocal microscopy, synchrotron x-ray fluorescence, image analysis, GPC, DMA, and a variety of mechanical tests. I cooperate closely with others using a wide variety of other techniques including but not limited to DSC, electrical conductivity, neutron scattering, and nanoindentation.

Past Research

I have been closely involved with:
3-D wet forming and pressing of fiber,
paper photo-aging,
the effect of biopulping (growing white rot fungus on wood chips prior to mechanical pulping) on wood,
fungal decay mechanisms,
mapping oxidation from decay fungi at the micron scale,
mapping protein and metabolite penetration,
adhesive interactions with wood,
heat resistance of adhesives,
adhesive durability,
sealant durability, and
understanding bonding in soy adhesives.

Why This Research is Important

My research on wood properties allows companies to produce better quality, less expensive traditional wood products for American consumers. I also develop knowledge which will enables industry to create whole new materials from wood. This makes American forest products more attractive, bringing jobs and income to rural America while utilizing an abundant domestic renewable resource.


  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry 2006
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.S. Physics and Mathematics Secondary Education 1991

Professional Experience

  • Research Chemist, Forest Products Laboratory
    2005 - Current
  • Research Support, Forest Products Laboratory
    1993 - 2004

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general publ ...


How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were ab ...


New Test of Raw Material Quality Improves the Strength of Wood Laminates

Plywood and laminated veneer lumber are built from wood veneers. Because the test for surface quality of the veneer was not very useful, Forest ...


Success of Wood Veneers Influenced by Harvesting Season and Temperature: Plywood Performance and Failure: A New Understanding

Cooperation with Finnish researchers results in new understanding of relationships between veneer processing, veneer properties, and product fai ...


Using Soybeans to Replace Synthetic Adhesives for Wood Bonding

Soybeans were used to glue the first plywood but were replaced by fossil-fuel-based adhesives after World War II. Scientists at the Forest Servi ...


X-Ray Methods to Observe and Quantify Adhesive Penetration into Wood

To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, researchers are working to understand the optimal adh ...


Last updated on : 07/01/2020