AbstractIn this article we studied the mechanism of wood drying using infrared (IR) heat transfer. Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) samples of 50 mm and 200 mm thickness were exposed to IR radiation, and the temperature and moisture profiles were recorded at the surface and at the core of the samples under controlled experimental conditions. It is proposed that the moisture transport in wood during drying is governed by osmotic effects. Based on such a hypothesis, the temperature stagnation was explained by a lower localized pressure at the core, which reduced the boiling point temperature of water. As moisture is drawn away due to osmosis from the central region, it cannot fill the empty lumens again; therefore, the pressure decreases locally. The evaporation of the internal moisture is brought about by a partial vacuum resulting in the disappearance of the liquid water.