Comparative micro-structure and sorption isotherms of rice straw and wheat straw

Written by esba

Straw bale construction can be utilised to deliver energy-efficient and low carbon buildings, however, there are concerns over the durability of straw. The water sorption property is a critical factor in the degradation behaviour of straw and other lignocellulosic materials. Typically, either wheat or rice straw is utilised for bale construction, however, this variation is not considered.

This paper presents the sorption property of wheat and rice straw and the micro-structure that affects the sorption property. Although the surface and cross-sectional structures of the two straw species are different at micro-scale, the sorption isotherms were not significantly different. This study on the water sorption property of rice and wheat straw allows for the assessment of durability within a wall construction. The impact of this research will be the growth in low carbon energy efficient straw bale construction with confidence over its long-term durability characteristics.


  1. Yin, Xunzhi
  2. Lawrence, Mike
  3. Maskell, Daniel
  4. Ansell, Martin


About the author


The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.