- Editorialpp 6556-6559Hubbe, M. A. (2021). "Energy efficiency – A particular challenge for the cellulose-based products industries," BioResources 16(4), 6556-6559.AbstractArticlePDF
Wood-processing facilities, including pulp, paper, lumber, and engineered wood facilities, use large amounts of energy for such purposes as evaporative drying and the curing of adhesives. Much of that energy is already being supplied by the incineration of biomass, and there is opportunity to increase the proportion of renewable energy that is used. Specific changes can be made within such factories that allow them to come closer to what is thermodynamically possible in terms of avoiding the wastage of exergy, which can be defined as useful energy. Savings in exergy are often obtained by optimization of a network of heat exchangers within an integrated system. No steam should be allowed to leak to the atmosphere; rather the latent heat (due to phase transitions) and sensible heat (due to temperature changes) are recovered during the heating up of incoming air and water, ideally at a similar range of temperatures. Thus, by a combination of process integration and full utilization of cellulosic residues generated from the process, even bio-based industries can be made greener.
- Editorialpp 1-2Lavoine, N. (2022). "Fostering entrepreneurial thinking in biomaterials education," BioResources 17(1), 1-2.AbstractArticlePDF
The concept of entrepreneurial thinking is gaining attention in higher education. Originally attributed to entrepreneurs, this concept embraces a set of attitudes, skills, and behaviors that can also help students, engineers, and researchers to succeed academically, professionally, and personally. This editorial discusses the benefits of developing and adopting an entrepreneurial thinking in biomaterials science and engineering. Our society is constantly evolving, and the next generations of engineers and researchers will have to adapt fast to the needs and propose innovative solutions to the demands. A strong entrepreneurial mindset may thus be key for boosting our efforts towards innovation and sustainability.
- Editorialpp 3-6Hubbe, M. A. (2022). "What to do with toxic, contaminated cellulose-based adsorbents," BioResources 17(1), 3-6.AbstractArticlePDF
This editorial considers the end fates of toxic materials, such as heavy metals, dyes, and synthetic organic compounds, which can be recovered from polluted water by using bio-based adsorbents. The point of the editorial is that insufficient research attention has been paid to the final fate of such contaminants. By contrast, much is known regarding factors affecting the adsorption capacities and rates of adsorption onto cellulose-based materials. Highly contaminated solutions are produced during the regeneration of biosorbent materials. Eutectic freeze crystallization potentially could be used to isolate relative pure compounds of heavy metals from such solutions. Alternatively, biochar can be prepared from cellulosic material in such a way as to achieve strong attachment to certain pollutants. Such biochar, after its use as an adsorbent, could be placed in the ground, where it can be expected to remain stable as sequestered carbon. A high ion exchange capacity of such biochar has potential to reduce the rates of leaching, which could otherwise lead to contamination of groundwater near to landfill sites. As shown by these examples, some promising answers to the final fate of contaminants may conform to a “circular economy” model, whereas other promising answers may conform to a “cradle-to-grave” viewpoint.
- Editorialpp 1962-1964Dement, L. M., and Lucia, L. A. (2022). "The role of the chemical industry in chemophobia," BioResources 17(2), 1962-1964.AbstractArticlePDF
The perception of the chemical field by the public has degraded proportionally with the growth of the industry. Chemical plants, as the largest source of chemical production and storage, have significant impact on the levels of chemophobia harbored in our society. Specifically, chemical disasters not only create significant loss, but they also work to propel the common distrust of chemistry in a dangerous direction. Repeated mishandling of distinct compound types coupled with disasters across the world harming thousands sends the message that our industry is unsafe and out of control. The preventable nature of these events demands that we seek means to curb the errors behind these major events within the industry required to support their importance to our economy and way of life in the United States. Additionally, we must strive to use educational approaches and constant dialogue as tools to surmount unfounded fears and augment public understanding of the nature and value of chemistry.
- Editorialpp 1965-1968Lee, K. H., Chun, Y., Yoo, H. Y., and Kim, S. W. (2022). "Strategies for converting non-edible biomass into value-added chemicals: Economical and reliable biorefining processes," BioResources 17(2), 1965-1968.AbstractArticlePDF
About 35% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the energy sector, which accelerates global warming and sea-level rise. As a renewable resource, biomass not only can replace conventional fossil energy with renewable energy, but it is also a key component of the circular bioeconomy (CBE). To achieve efficient use of bioresources, the concept of biorefinery with CBE strategy is increasingly being considered in several countries. In particular, it aims to reduce crude oil consumption and build an economy that is favorable for the climate and nature by replacing carbon-intensive products such as plastics, synthetic rubber, and synthetic fibers with renewable bio-based resources. The purpose of this article is to investigate biomass conversion technologies for building a CBE and to consider successful biorefinery strategies. In particular, five implications of using biomass are suggested as ways to secure the economic feasibility of biorefinery. We propose a biorefinery that produces value-added chemicals from non-edible biomass through saccharification and fermentation as a strategy to achieve the 2050 goal of net-zero carbon.
- Editorialpp 1969-1971Zhang, Q., Sa, M., and Zhu, S. (2022). "Crowdfunding: A potentially effective channel to raise money for lignocellulosic research," BioResources 17(2), 1969-1971.AbstractArticlePDF
It is becoming more and more important for researchers to find financing for their research projects and studies. Traditionally, they rely on grants and universities to fund sustained academic research progress. With grants becoming increasingly hard to secure, researchers have to turn to other sources of finance to support their research. Crowdfunding has provided a potentially effective financial tool to raise money from the public for their work. Unlike the traditional peer-review grant systems, which often have a complicated and time-consuming application and evaluation process, the crowdfunding process is generally simple and fast, and it has a high fundraising efficiency. Besides raising money to conduct research, crowdfunding also provides an opportunity for public outreach and science education engendered by this type of funding model. This editorial will give a brief discussion on crowdfunding and its use in lignocellulosic research.
- Editorialpp 3871-3874Hermann, P., and Heinze, T. (2022). "Renewable thermoplastics – Starch fatty acid esters as alternatives to synthetics," BioResources 17(3), 3871-3874.AbstractArticlePDF
Thermoplastics are an important class of polymers that find widespread use in a broad variety of applications. Because of environmental concerns regarding the lack of biodegradability of synthetic thermoplastics, green alternatives are increasingly studied that should be both based on renewable resources and biodegradable. In this regard, polysaccharide esters of naturally occurring fatty acids are in the center of interest.
- Editorialpp 3875-3876Youn, H. J., and Lee, H. L. (2022). "Public awareness of paper’s sustainability in a digital society," BioResources 17(3), 3875-3876.AbstractArticlePDF
People often think of paper as an environmentally harmful product because trees are cut down to make it. A new generation that has grown up in today’s digital society may think that the use of digital devices is a waste-free way to protect our environment. Although the pulp and paper industry is making various efforts to preserve the environment, it has not been properly recognized. Developing new technologies to produce better products at lower cost while protecting our environment is important. But it is also important to enhance the image of the pulp and paper industry in the eyes of the public. The pulp and paper industry’s efforts to reforestation for raw materials and to expand the recycling of waste paper should be more widely introduced.
- Editorialpp 3877-3879Guo, Y., and Yu, X. (2022). "When mimetics meets chitosan," BioResources 17(3), 3877-3879.AbstractArticlePDF
The concept of mimetics can be defined in terms of “learning from others” or “inspired by others”, and indeed its essence is “universal”. A well-known marvelous example of designing materials inspired by nature is human flight. Essentially, everything can be mimicked somehow in this huge world. In this sense, the characteristics of polysaccharides, including chitosan, can shed light on new product development. Owing to the interesting features of chitosan, such as nontoxicity, biodegradability, antibacterial activity, and the puzzling hydrophobic nature of chitosan films, the synthesis of chitosan-mimetic materials represents a promising strategy for developing a diverse group of functional products. The abundant amino and hydroxyl groups of chitosan are the basis for designing different functional materials. It is expected that chitosan-mimetic strategies may potentially address issues or challenges related to the commercial use of chitosan. For example, chitosan functions well as a paper additive (e.g. surface sizing); however, its use is strongly hampered by high cost, poor water-solubility, etc. In this case, chitosan-mimetic products derived from low-cost materials (e.g., starch) may be considered as alternatives to chitosan. Limitless types of products stemming from the interaction between mimetics and chitosan are designable, potentially creating endless opportunities for different industrial sectors.
- Editorialpp 3880-3882Jablonsky, M., and Šima, J. (2022). "Is it correct to name DESs deep eutectic solvents?" BioResources 17(3), 3880-3882.AbstractArticlePDF
Recent years of research and development have brought frequently used terms for new types of green solvents to the lexicon of scientists. This can lead to terminological inaccuracies. In particular, different names are being used for the same types of solvents: Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES); Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents; Low-Transition Temperature Mixtures; Low-Melting Mixtures. It would, therefore, be appropriate to eliminate certain inaccuracies and to use simplification, which means using the general term “Low-Temperature Transition Mixtures” or introducing the term “DES-like mixtures”.